UPDATE: A 34-year-old Paradise Township man is charged with kidnapping Linda Stoltzfoos, an 18-year-old Amish woman who has been missing since June 21, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's office. Click here to read more.
East Lampeter police are winding up their involvement in leading the search of an area where an 18-year-old Upper Leacock Township woman was last seen Sunday before she was reported missing.
Police investigators are instead focusing attention on the hundreds of tips that have poured in concerning Linda Stoltzfoos since Monday, Lt. Matt Hess said Thursday afternoon.
Volunteer searchers continued to search into Friday afternoon.
"There's only so many times you can search the same area over again," Hess said.
Stoltzfoos, of Beechdale Road, was last observed on a farm on Stumptown Road wearing a tan dress, white apron and white cape, police said; she had been returning from church. She is white, about 5’10” and weighs 125 pounds.
Hess said many tips are general or vague, such as someone calling to say they saw a brown car or the like. But investigators process them in case more of the same kind of tips come in and a pattern can be developed.
Investigators aren't sure what happened to Stoltzfoos.
Nothing has been ruled out, but no evidence of foul play has been found, Hess said.
If Stoltzfoos left of her own accord, he said police want her to know she is not in trouble and to contact police.
The FBI was brought in Wednesday, but Hess said he did not know exactly what assistance they were providing. Even if he did, he said, police likely wouldn't disclose that.
The department relies on the FBI for all types of cases, he said.
Carrie Adamowski, an FBI spokeswoman, said its involvement isn't unusual.
"A young woman's whereabouts are unknown. The reason we're involved is because we were asked to be. This isn't unusual," she said in an email. "Every day, all over the country, the FBI is providing some kind of resources or assistance to local/state/federal law enforcement partners — not just on missing persons cases, on all different types of cases. It's an important part of what we do."
" ... if our law enforcement partners ask for assistance, we'll provide it, whether it's simple manpower, evidence response capabilities, tech support, etc.," she said. "We work closely with our local and state partners on task forces, we provide training — the police departments know us, we know them, and when they call, we answer."