The man charged with kidnapping Linda Stoltzfoos was repeatedly texting with his brother just after the Amish teen went missing nearly three months ago, according to recently unsealed court documents.
In a search warrant application to examine Justo Smoker's LG smartphone, East Lampeter Township police Detective Chris Jones said records he obtained showed that Smoker texted and sent multimedia messages to his brother, Victor Smoker, 15 times between about 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on June 21.
Stoltzfoos, 18, was last seen about 12:40 p.m. that day, according to authorities. She was walking to her family's home on Beechdale Road in Upper Leacock Township after church.
Justo Smoker, 34, of Paradise Township, was charged with Stoltzfoos' kidnapping and false imprisonment on July 10 after investigators said a homeowner's surveillance video showed Smoker’s car near where a woman believed to be Stoltzfoos was also seen on the video.
Enhanced video shows a red or orange Kia Rio driving out of view, then a male on foot approaches a female in white, around 12:40 p.m. on Beechdale, according to charging documents. The video location is about four-tenths of a mile from Stoltzfoos' home. Investigators traced the license plate to Smoker, who drives a Kia.
In the application for the search warrant, Jones wrote that the time of the texts "would be directly after Linda Stoltzfoos was kidnapped."
Lancaster County Chief Public Defender Christopher Tallarico, who is representing Smoker, declined comment Thursday.
Victor Smoker has not been charged. On Thursday, a woman who answered the phone number listed as his in the search warrant application said a word or two in Spanish and hung up.
Besides Justo Smoker's smartphone, investigators obtained search warrants for his apartment, car and a rental storage unit.
The warrants were obtained on July 10, the day Smoker was arrested, and sealed for 60 days.
In asking that the warrants be sealed, Jones wrote that revealing their details would jeopardize the investigation.
In the applications, Jones wrote that investigators were looking for evidence such as Stoltzfoos' bonnet and clothing, blood, hair, fingerprints and other DNA evidence.
Jones wrote in the search warrant for Smoker's phone that data from it could provide a timeline of events before and after Stoltzfoos' kidnapping.
It could not immediately be determined what, if anything, had been found based on the warrants.
District Attorney Heather Adams declined comment.
Justo Smoker is being held at Lancaster County Prison without bail.
The Smoker brothers were convicted of a string of robberies in August 2006.
Justo was released in February 2019 after serving 12 1/2 to 30 years in prison. Victor was released in 2016.