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July 12, 2020

Lancaster County man arrested for alleged abduction of missing Amish teen

Justo Smokers of Paradise has been charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment

Police Crime
Lancaster County Amish teen kidnapped Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

East Lampeter Township police arrested 34-year-old Justo Smokers on Friday for allegedly kidnapping an Amish teen who has been missing since June 21.

A 34-year-old man from Paradise, Lancaster County has been arrested and charged for allegedly kidnapping an Amish teen who has been missing since June 21.

Justo Smokers was arrested by East Lampeter Township police at his job on Friday and arraigned in court on Saturday morning, local authorities said. He’s been charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment.

Smokers was deemed ineligible for bail due to the nature of the charges and the ongoing investigation into the whereabouts of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.

Investigators are still searching for Stoltzfoos, who was reported missing by her father on June 21 after she did not return home following a youth group gathering at her church.

She was last seen walking home from the event in the Bird-in-Hand area of Upper Leacock Township, Lancaster County, local authorities said. 

Stoltzfoos was last seen wearing a tan dress, white apron and white cape. She is described as 5-foot-10, 125 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Investigators said that they are still figuring out what happened to Stoltzfoos after she was kidnapped, including whether or not she was harmed.

Investigators searched a rural area of Ronks, Lancaster County on Friday evening where they believed Stoltzfoos might have been taken after she was abducted. 

Clothing believed to belong to Stoltzfoos was found buried in a wooded area, local authorities said. Smoker’s vehicle, a red Kia sedan, was seen parked at the location on June 23.

Smoker became a person of interest in the case after police received information from witnesses about a red/orange car being spotted in the area on the afternoon of the kidnapping.

Local authorities said that witnesses spotted an Amish female sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a male. Descriptions of both the man and the vehicle were consistent with that of Smoker and his car.

Investigators also obtained and viewed surveillance video that depicts the abduction and shows that a red Kia sedan was involved.

Justo Smokers

Amish teen kidnapped

Authorities have no evidence indicating that Stoltzfoos was unhappy or planning to leave her community.

Local police are being assisted with the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, and the Lancaster County Prosecutor’s Office.

Anyone with a tip or information on the case is encouraged to contact the police.

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