Linda Stoltzfoos missing: Kidnap suspect was texting brother when woman disappeared, police say
Lancaster County
Justo Smoker is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment in connection to the disappearance of Linda Stoltzfoos.

By Keith Schweigert, WPMT

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WPMT) -- The suspect accused of kidnapping Linda Stoltzfoos on June 21 sent numerous text and multimedia messages to his brother during the window of time in which the Amish girl went missing, according to recently unsealed court documents.

Justo Smoker, 34, of Paradise Township, is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment in connection to the disappearance of the 18-year-old Amish teen, who was last seen as she left a church service to walk home on the afternoon of Father's Day.

Smoker was arrested on the charges on July 10, court documents say. On that same day, East Lampeter Township Police Detective Chris Jones applied for search warrants to examine Smoker's LG smartphone.

In the warrant to examine Smoker's phone, Jones said he obtained records that showed Smoker texted his younger brother 15 times between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on June 21. Stoltzfoos was last seen around 12:40 p.m. that day, police say.

In his application for warrant to examine Smoker's phone, Jones said the time of the texts Smoker sent his brother "would be directly after Linda Stoltzfoos was kidnapped." Jones said he was hoping to establish a timeline of events before and after Stoltzfoos' suspected kidnapping.

Police have not filed any charges against Smoker's brother.

Jones also applied for warrants to search Smoker's car, his Paradise Township apartment, and a storage locker he rented on the 3300 block of Lincoln Highway in Paradise.

During their investigation, police say they examined surveillance footage from a homeowner's security system that showed what they believe to be Smoker's car near where a woman -- believed to be Stoltzfoos -- is seen walking alone along Beechdale Road, near where her family's farm is located.


Police have said they have reason to believe Linda Stoltzfoos was harmed following her abduction.

On Friday night, July 10, investigators searched a rural area in Ronks and found articles of clothing believed to be hers buried in a wooded area. Police said Smoker's vehicle was seen parked in the rural area on June 23.

Multiple witnesses told police they had seen an Amish woman in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a man, with the vehicle and driver's description matching Smoker.

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