EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — On Monday the man charged with the kidnapping of Linda Stoltzfoos was charged with her murder.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office says Justo Smoker killed the 18-year-old Amish woman.
Authorities filed the murder charge despite still not knowing where Stoltfoos is.
Stoltfoos’ uncle, Mervin Fisher, told ABC 27 News he wasn’t totally shocked about Monday’s announcement.
“Hearing this the first thought is could there be closure,” Fisher said.
Stoltzfoos vanished while walking home from church to her parents’ Upper Leacock Township on June 21.
Police said surveillance video showed Smoker took Stoltzfoos in his red Kia Rio.
A criminal complaint filed on Monday indicates police have new evidence in the case.
The criminal complaint stated that Smoker’s DNA was found on Linda Stoltzfoos’ buried clothing, which was found on Harvest Drive.
Court records also state that Smoker bought cleaning supplies the morning Stoltzfoos disappeared, and that there were three other reports of him stalking Amish women the day before Stolzfoos went missing.
“After reviewing all of the evidence complied in this investigation over the last six months, including additional evidence developed since the arrest of Smoker, we have come to the tragic conclusion and inescapable conclusion Linda is deceased,” Lancaster County District Attorney, Heather Adams, said in a prerecorded statement.
Fisher said his family is hopeful they find Linda’s remains.
“We hang onto the hope of knowing where she is so there can be closure,” he said.
Adams said the search for Stoltzfoos remains ongoing.
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