LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — A man has been charged with the kidnapping of an Amish teenager who disappeared last month, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Saturday. Investigators have yet to find the missing teen and are now asking for any information that can lead to her whereabouts.
East Lampeter Township police charged 34-year-old Justo Smoker on Friday with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.
Stoltzfoos was last seen June 21 on a farm on Stumptown Road in the community of Bird-In-Hand. Her father reported her missing when she did not return from a youth group that night, but investigators say she never made it to the social gathering.
Her whereabouts remain unknown and authorities believe she was harmed following her abduction.
According to investigators, Smoker became a person of interest in the kidnapping after police confirmed his red Kia Rio was in the Gap area on the afternoon of the abduction. Witnesses also reported seeing an Amish girl sitting in the passenger side of that vehicle.
Investigators say surveillance video shows the abduction of Linda Stoltzfoos on Beechdale Road and the red Kia.
Smoker’s vehicle was also seen parked in a rural location in Ronks on June 23, where police believe Stoltzfoos might have been taken after being kidnapped.
On Friday, investigators searched that area and found, buried in a wooded area, articles of clothing believed to belong to Stoltzfoos.
Investigators are now asking anyone who might have seen Smoker or his red Kia Rio sedan around the time Stoltzfoos was abducted, and in the days after, to contact police at 717-291-4676.
Police say the vehicle has a distinct spoiler, a “LCM” sticker on the trunk, and has a Pennsylvania tag KYB-9713.
On Saturday night, members of the Amish community and beyond gathered in prayer, asking that Stoltzfoos be safely returned to her family.
Sources close to the case tell Eyewitness News the teen’s parents were notified about the arrest earlier Saturday.
The FBI on Friday upped its reward to $10,000 for information leading to her recovery.
CBS3’s Joe Holden contributed to this report.