Linda Stoltzfoos remains found. Body of missing Lancashire Amish Pennsylvania woman believed to have been found as Paradise man, Justo Smoker awaits trial for her murder.
Linda Stoltzfoos has been missing since June 21, 2020 after last being seen walking home from church in the Bird-In-Hand area. Testimony from friends and family of Stoltzfoos indicated that she was content with her life and never made mention about leaving the community.
The newly recovered remains, have not yet been identified but prosecutors said that the coroner’s office will formally identify the remains and determine a cause of death fox43 reports.
The coroner confirmed the remains were found in the rural part of eastern Lancaster County, near Dutchland Incorporated, the former workplace of Justo Smoker, who is facing felony kidnapping and and misdemeanor false imprisonment for Stoltzfoos’s disappearance.
We’re near Beechdale Road in Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County where fire police are stationed currently. We’re seeing multiple Amish people, buggies heading in the direction of Linda Stoltzfoos’ house. @fox43
— Grace Griffaton (@GraceGriffaton) April 21, 2021
Evidence links incarcerated man to missing Amish woman’s presumed death?
In December, an additional homicide charge was added against Smoker as prosecutors alleged ‘that the passing of time, along with the complete cessation of all routine activities led to the inevitable conclusion that Linda was deceased and that Smoker caused her death’, according to the Associated Press.
A county judge in March ruled that there was sufficient evidence to maintain the homicide charge against Smoker.
Multiple witnesses interviewed by police said they saw an Amish woman sitting in the passenger seat of a red Kia sedan on the day she disappeared, with a man resembling Smoker behind the wheel.
Smoker owns a red Kia sedan.
Authorities also recovered some of Stoltzfoos’ clothing in a rural, wooded area. Of the items found, a stocking was discovered that contained a similar DNA profile ‘attributable to Smoker.’
Stoltzfoos’ bra and stockings were found buried behind a business where a vehicle resembling Smoker’s Kia was seen by a witness, who photographed the vehicle.
DNA linking missing Amish woman to suspect
Authorities interviewed Smoker twice before charging him with kidnapping. In the first interview, he allegedly denied being in the area or recognizing Stoltzfoos’ photo. But when police showed him a photo of his car at the business where her belongings were found, he said the car appeared to be his.
Chief county public defender Christopher Tallarico argued that there was no proof of Stoltzfoos ever being in Smoker’s car as her DNA had never been found in samples taken from the vehicle according to the nydailynews.
Smoker is currently incarcerated at Lancaster County Prison while awaiting trial.
A press conference about the Stoltzfoos investigation is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.