Amish Thoughts On The Linda Stoltzfoos Disappearance

Reader “The other Erik” recently asked concerning the Linda Stoltzfoos case:

How focused on this are Amish people?

I’ve noticed a lot of recent articles on this website about this topic. That made me wonder: Are the local Amish, and those in more distant settlements, paying a lot of attention to this crime? What are their thoughts?

As it happens, Lancaster Online has just published a selection of comments from correspondence sent in to The Diary, a widely-read Amish monthly published out of Lancaster County:

Amish from communities as far away as Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio are paying close attention to the case of missing Lancaster County teen Linda Stoltzfoos and offering prayers to her family through a monthly newspaper published here called The Diary.

The Diary, which is published in Kirkwood, routinely carries dispatches from Amish across the United States about the weather, crop season, births, deaths, weddings, migrations and ordinations.

The Diary for sale at an Amish bookstore

As you’d expect, Amish people in different places are following the story with concern. Here’s a sample of some comments:

“I keep thinking of the parents in PA who are waiting on news of their missing daughter. Can we imagine the stress, the grief, the suspense? May God carry them through,” wrote a Mrs. Daniel Raber from Harmony/Granger, Minnesota, in the August issue of the newspaper.

Amanda H. Otto, writing to The Diary from Curtis, Wisconsin, stated: “My thoughts go daily to the family of Linda Stoltzfoos in PA. I am sure those who have had no such experience cannot imagine what they are going through. May you feel God’s presence during this difficult time.”

Henry K. Fisher, of Bird-In-Hand, wrote: “Hopes to find her alive anywhere are very dim by now but the vigilant watch by the telephone at Lloyd is still maintained at all time by volunteers three hours at a time just in case. Yes, in case she might be somewhere where she could call home,” wrote Henry K. Fisher of Bird-In-Hand.

“So, let us all keep praying. We realize that God could have prevented this but chose to let it happen. We question why! We need to seek for answers in order to get his message and let our voice of conscience tell us something. I didn’t see much of Linda since she turned 15 but have nothing bad at all in mind of her as a vocational pupil here.”

Another commenter writes that “God has a purpose in the things he does and allows to be done. ”

The article also notes that many Amish have drawn a connection to the case of Evelyn Fisher, a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in 1980 in the New Holland area. Evelyn was later found to have been abducted and killed. Evelyn’s mother visited last month with the Stoltzfoos family.

No doubt the sample of comments excerpted in the article reflects just a small portion of the concern among Amish around the country, given how the Amish grapevine works and the unusual and troubling nature of this case.

Anyone with information on the case should call the PA State Police, Lancaster Barracks at 717-299-7650, or the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI.

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    1. Daneise McCue

      Praying for the family and Linda

      I have been following this story since it broke and I watch for updates. I hope they find her soon. I have been praying for the family as well as for linda. I can’t even imagine being in this position. My heart hurts for them all.

    2. Prayers.

      Prayers continue to the Dear Lord and all of His angels and saints on a daily basis.

    3. Disappearance

      The disappearance of Linda is a terrible thing. We cannot imagine what must go through someone’s mind who would abduct another person. I have two kids and I would be out of my mind. I feel for this family. It just goes to show that even in what we may feel is a peaceful community, there is danger. Worst of all, some people even target the Amish because they know they won’t prosecute. I think if the suspect they have in custody is responsible, he should just admit it and allow the family to have closure. Of course if he really is not responsible, then that is another story. I cannot imagine missing one of my kids and not knowing what happened. I know God is sovereign. Thankfully, since He created us and we are mere humans, made from the dust of the earth, He understands our inability to not fret, not worry, not think the worst and not walk the floor at night. It doesn’t have to do with faith but with the very human emotion of fear. May He continue to be with this precious family and with Linda.

    4. June

      Praying for Linda and family

      My thoughts and prayers have continually been for Linda to be found ok. I know even with a strong faith this family must be devastated. I can in some ways wonder the senario that could have taken place. Assuming with all the surveillance tapes that show when Linda was taken. Did he surprise her so quickly with some excuse he was able to use the zip tie on her? Did he take all her personal clothes and force her into the woods? Could she still be out there but ashamed of what he did to her and afraid of being shunned?Sold on a black market? A sweet life so quickly changed. Yes in all of this God does have a plan and purpose. And He promises us that He knows each thing that will come across our path. And we can only be as a watchmen at the gate. Keeping our faith and remember He knows already how each life will work for His Glory. May Linda’s life be for Gods Glory in all she has done. Gods Blessings and comfort to her friends and family.

    5. judie clark

      thoughts for linda and ones involed

      please linda if you can please contact your family let them no if you ok .and when it comes to jacob plese if you do no any thing bout where linda is please tell but if you dont dont admit something you didt do, i pray for jacob. his family and linda and her family

    6. Luis Figaro

      Prayers and custards

      I’m sorry about Linda she was nice