Judge: Case against man accused of killing Amish teenager in Lancaster will head to trial


LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) — A judge has ruled there is enough evidence for the case against a man accused of killing an Amish teenager to head to trial.

On Friday, 34-year-old Justo Smoker had his preliminary hearing on the charge he killed 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.

Prosecutors claim Smoker abducted Stoltzfoos as she was walking home church on Beechdale Road in Upper Leacock Township on Father’s Day in 2020.

Investigators said Smoker also killed Stolzfoos even though they have not been able to find her body despite numerous searches.

In court on Friday, during the preliminary hearing on the murder charge, First Assistant Lancaster County District Attorney Todd Brown, highlighted that Smoker reportedly stalked three other Amish girls the day before Stoltzfoos was abducted.

During the hearing, Brown also pointed to surveillance video and cell phone data that put Smoker and his red Kia Rio at the abduction site.

Prosecutors also said Smoker’s DNA was found on Stoltzfoos’ undergarments, which were found buried behind a business on Harvest Drive in Ronks.

Brown said all the evidence points to the facts the Linda is dead.

Smoker’s attorney, Lancaster County Chief Public Defender Christopher Tallarico, said there was no proof Stoltzfoos had ever gotten into Smoker’s car. 

Investigators say the search for Stoltzfoos remains ongoing.

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