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.
Police charged Justo Smoker on Friday, July 10, and arrested him at Dutchland Inc., where he worked. Smoker is in Lancaster County Prison without bail, according to the district attorney's office.
"Investigators have reason to believe Stoltzfoos was harmed following her abduction," the district attorney's office said.
Investigators said they found Stotzfoos' clothes buried behind a business on Harvest Drive in Ronks. Stoltzfoos is still missing, police said, and the search for her continues.
Smoker is charged with felony kidnapping and a misdemeanor of false imprisonment.
The arrest happened on the same day the FBI issued a reward for information on Stoltzfoos' whereabouts.
According to the district attorney's office, Smoker became a person of interest after police were told that multiple witnesses had seen a red or orange vehicle in the Gap area with an Amish woman in the passenger seat and a man driving on the afternoon after Stoltzfoos went missing.
Police used surveillance video enhanced by FBI forensic technicians to see what they believe is the abduction of Stoltzfoos near Beechdale Road, which would've been part of her walk back home from church, the district attorney's office said.
The video came from the 500 block of Beechdale Road, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Friday evening, investigators searched a rural location in Ronks, where they believed Stoltzfoos might have been taken after being kidnapped, the district attorney's office said.
Smoker's car was seen parked at the location on June 23, the district attorney's office said, and investigators found articles of clothing they believe belonged to Stoltzfoos.
Investigators are asking anyone who might have seen Smoker or his red Kia Rio sedan around June 21 or after to contact police at 717-291-4676.
Smoker's car has a "distinct spoiler and 'LCM' sticker on the trunk," the district attorney's office said. The license plate registration is KYB-9713.
Stoltzfoos went missing on June 21, when she didn't return home from a church youth group that her parents believed she would be at, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Police said that they spoke with three of Stoltzfoos' friends who were expected to meet Stoltzfoos at the youth group.
A woman who was the last person to see Stoltzfoos told police that she spoke with Stoltzfoos after church, where Stoltzfoos said she was going to head home and change clothes before walking to youth group, according to the affidavit. The woman described Stoltzfoos “as a very content person who was happy with her lifestyle,” police said. The woman reported to police that Stoltzfoos never had a phone and never had a boyfriend.
The friends said that they thought she was sick and told police that "Linda was content with her life and [they] did not believe that Linda would ever go away without telling anyone," according to an affidavit of probable cause.
On June 23, police said they were called for a suspicious vehicle behind a business on Harvest Drive in Ronks. The owner told police it was a red Kia and police later said that it was the same license plate, belonging to Smoker. Cell phone records also put him near there on June 21, shortly after Stoltzfoos was abducted, according to police.
Police said that the business owner then saw the driver of the vehicle walk around the building and look into windows and doors. The man, believed to be Smoker, then returned and backed into the same parking spot next to the railroad tracks, according to the affidavit.
Police said they found the articles of clothing, which the family later identified as being Stoltzfoos', buried about six to eight inches underground near the Harvest Drive business on July 10.
On June 29, police spoke with a married couple that were also in the Amish community and said that they saw an Amish woman riding in a passenger seat of a red or orange car, wearing a white apron and black head covering, police said.
The couple thought it was odd because Amish churches in that area don't wear black head coverings and when the woman waved to the car's passenger, she never waved back, which is an Amish tradition, according to the affidavit.
The FBI used Smoker's cell phone records to show that he was in the general area where the clothes were found on June 21 between 2:32 and 3:35 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Police interviewed Smoker on July 10, where police said he initially denied being in the area but later said the he traveled backroads from his house in Ronks and Leola.
When he was shown a photograph of the car police saw in the surveillance video, Smoker told police that the car looked like his, police said.
Police arrested him on Friday night, according to the district attorney's office.