Welsh Mountains 10.jpg

The view from the roadside along the 400 block of Gault Road, located near the Welsh Mountain area where searchers have looked for missing Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. This image was taken at the top of a hill looking northwest from Gualt Road and lies between Kauffroth and Cambridge Roads.

Editors note: This story has been updated to correct what the family was told about the identity of the remains. District Attorney Heather Adams confirmed that the remains found were that of Linda Stoltzfoos. Read more.

A family member said that remains discovered Wednesday are thought to be that of Linda Stoltzfoos, but investigators have yet to make an official identification.

Mervin Fisher, who is Stoltzfoos' uncle, said the family has been told there are "strong indicators" the remains recovered are Linda's.

“All of us have been hoping for closure. It’s not the news we wanted, but progress is moving forward to bring Linda to rest,” he said.

The remains were discovered by a team consisting of the FBI, East Lampeter Township police and Pennsylvania State Police, the district attorney's office said in a news release.

Lancaster County coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said his office was called to the scene sometime on Wednesday afternoon, and that an autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Fisher said on Wednesday evening that he was traveling to the Stoltzfoos family home where many people from the Amish community were gathering.

A reporter had visited the home Wednesday afternoon, but was asked to leave.

Law enforcement and other community groups have searched extensively since June to bring Linda Stoltzfoos home, the district attorney's office said. The searches consisted of over 15,000 man hours.

Justo Smoker, 35, of Paradise Township, was charged with homicide Dec. 21 — six months to the day the 18-year-old Stoltzfoos went missing while walking from church to her parents’ Upper Leacock Township home. 

He had been previously charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment after investigators said they found surveillance video showing his car was near where a woman believed to be Stoltzfoos was last seen. That was on July 10.

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