A Pennsylvania man is accused of kidnapping an 18-year-old Amish woman who investigators believe was “harmed” after she was kidnapped last month, police said.
Just Smoker, 34, of Paradise, was arrested Friday for serious kidnapping and misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment in the disappearance of Linda Stoltzfoos, who has been missing since June 21, the Attorney General’s Office announced Saturday. Lancaster County District.
Stoltzfoos’s whereabouts are unclear and the active search for her continues, but investigators “have reason to believe that she was harmed” after she was kidnapped. She was last seen walking home from the church in Bird-in-Hand on Father’s Day while wearing a tan dress, white apron and white cape, East Lampeter Township police said.
The surveillance video obtained by police officers that was enhanced by FBI technicians “depicts the kidnapping” of Stoltzfoos in a red sedan while walking on his normal route home, prosecutors said.
“That video shows a red Kia Rio involved in the hijacking,” prosecutors said.
Investigators searched a rural area Friday night in Ronks, where they suspect Stoltzfoos may have been hijacked after she was hijacked and where a red Kia Rio sedan owned by Smoker was parked on June 23, prosecutors said.
Police officers found clothing believed to belong to Stoltzfoos buried near a wooded area, and several witnesses reported seeing an Amish woman in the passenger seat of a vehicle allegedly driven by Smoker, prosecutors said.
Stoltzfoos’ father denounced the woman’s disappearance after he was unable to return from a group of young men he planned to attend on June 21, authorities said.
“Investigators confirmed that she did not make it to that social gathering,” prosecutors said in a statement. “The police found nothing to indicate that Stoltzfoos was unhappy and wanted to leave his community.”
A message seeking comment from East Lampeter police on the search for Stoltzfoos was not immediately returned Monday morning.
Meanwhile, FBI officials had offered a $ 10,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Stoltzfoos and the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his disappearance.
Hundreds of volunteers participated in searches for the woman over the weekend, WGAL reported.
“Linda, where are you?” Read a post on Sunday on a Facebook page dedicated to finding the teenage Amish. “Let the truth be revealed.”
Anyone who saw Smoker or his red sedan at the time of the Stoltzfoos kidnapping should call East Lampeter Township police at (717) 291-4676.