Preliminary hearing on missing Amish teen reveals new details, police still seeking tips


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Several new details were revealed this week at the preliminary hearing on the investigation of Linda Stoltzfoos’ abduction, however, police are still seeking tips as her whereabouts are still unknown.

A judge has ruled there is enough evidence against 34-year-old Justo Smoker to send his case to trial.

Smoker, who appeared in court on Wednesday for a preliminary, is charged with kidnapping 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos in Lancaster County.

According to preliminary hearing testimony from East Lampeter Township police and Pennsylvania State Police, Stoltzfoos “was content with her Amish lifestyle. Nobody we spoke with reported she was unhappy in any capacity.” She was “timid in groups” and in public. She never had any boyfriends or non-Amish friends.

Witnesses saw an Amish female in a red car on the afternoon Linda disappeared. That was ‘extremely noteworthy’ because Amish females typically would not be alone in a vehicle wearing a head covering. According to officials, one witness said, “she looked at me with pleading eyes.”

Smoker was seen cleaning his car a few hours after Stoltzfoos was abducted. Smoker told police no one else drove his car around the time of the abduction, and that he was not in that area on June 21. Officials also say on June 23, a witness saw Smoker’s car parked near a wooded area where police found some of Stoltzfoos’s clothes and a zip tie.

Police still have not found Stoltzfoos and they believe she may have been harmed.

During testimony on Wednesday police also said there is no evidence to lead them to believe that Linda Stoltzfoos knew Justo Smoker prior to her reported abduction.

Smoker faces felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment charges. He is currently in the Lancaster County Prison.

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