It’s been nearly three weeks since Linda Stoltzfoos disappeared on June 21. The FBI is now offering a monetary reward for information. From crimewatchpa.com:
The East Lampeter Township Police Department and the FBI continue to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Linda Stoltzfoos. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Linda’s recovery and the identification, arrest, and conviction of the subject(s) responsible for her disappearance.
Linda has been missing since Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, 2020, when she didn’t return home after a church service. She was last observed at a farm on Stumptown Road, between the intersection of Beechdale Road and Gibbons Road in Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Linda is described as a white female, 18 years of age, approximately 5’10” tall and 125 pounds. She is a member of the Amish community and was last seen wearing a tan dress, white apron, and black head covering.
Anyone with information on Linda’s whereabouts or the circumstances of her disappearance is asked to contact us at 717-291-4676, click on the submit a tip button below, 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or online at tips.fbi.gov.
You could read the wording of that reward offer to suggest that the FBI is convinced that she was taken by someone or someones. But I haven’t seen where they’ve definitively stated that is the case. Statements from authorities have generally seemed to lean to the idea that Linda did not leave of her free will, but they have also left open the possibility with repeated statements that there have been no signs of foul play.
Obviously the “best case” scenario here is that those who know Linda best completely missed any signs, if there were any, of her wanting to leave the community. Linda re-appearing of her own free will does not seem likely, but it would be a lot better than the alternatives, and I have to think her loved ones must be hoping and praying for an outcome like that.
This news led me to wonder if monetary rewards actually help people or suspects involved in crimes to be found? This NPR article goes into some detail on the use of reward payments in such cases. An excerpt:
Law enforcement agencies have a long history of offering rewards in an effort to solve crimes. The FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list has been up and running since 1950, when the agency first teamed up with a news wire service to publicize the toughest criminals it was trying to capture. The FBI now offers a minimum — a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to a direct arrest of anyone on that list.
In the 1970s, Crime Stoppers, a new effort that used reward money, the media, and citizen help, got underway. It lets people call in anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers programs across the United States. Typical rewards, up to $1,000 funded by public, private and corporate donations, are offered if a tip leads to an arrest. Larger rewards are offered for more heinous crimes.
Barb Bergin, chairwoman of Crime Stoppers USA, says the prospect of higher rewards for cases that receive more publicity may increase the number of tips or calls. That doesn’t necessarily mean those tips help solve the case or lead to higher rewards being paid out.
“Nationally we are seeing programs who are paying out as little as 15 to 20% of their available rewards,” Bergin says. “I think the highest that you’ll see around the country is somewhere around 60 to 70% of their rewards get collected.”
Besides this, there hasn’t been a lot of news in the case since our last update on the FBI’s release of a composite photo of Linda in English clothing a week ago. Previous to that authorities asked those who’d been on any of five area roads the day of Linda’s disappearance to contact them.
The FBI missing person poster for Linda:
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Reward Linda Amish girl
I agree that rewards many times help. However the wording is very intimidating . The single word “recovery” could lead one to believe she is alive. I pray she is. However, recovering someone who has gone to great lengths not to be found isn’t going to bring many if any leads. If however she has met the unthinkable it may bring new info for a recovery of a body. I sure hope not. My gut tells me that if Linda went to the length of know one having any inclination she was leaving she isn’t likely to call and say hey “I’m ok”. If the person is out there reading anything about her and has taken her , has her, or she left freely with them, please just send a note with conclusive proof she has gone on her own accord. Frankly with days turning into weeks, I’m doubting she in a good way. Poor girl and many prayers to her family. Heartbreaking for sure.
Those comments are unnecessary. Being positive is all we have now regardless of whether or not she left willingly!
Of course we all want her to be found safe, sound, and happy. However we must in be realistic to the lack of leads,information currently available and the time frame she has been missing. Stating comments are not positive is unfair. This is a forum of opinions and read by many with similar interest in the Amish world. I rather doubt any of us want an ending not favorable for this young girl and her family. Many prayers to everyone in her community, family and friends in finding her whatever the circumstances may be.
I think Michelle’s comment was reasonable analysis. Nothing wrong with that. Staying positive, also good as well. The two can exist together.
Lord Jesus Linda and her family need your help
Dear Heavenly Father, please help everyone involved with Linda’s disappearances. Give them assurance that you hear their prayers and love them very much. We humble ask for her safe return home. Please Lord give them strength to believe that you are working in all of this and that your love and peace will sustain them. May your Spirit give them joy even in this time of uncertainty. May your name Jesus be glorified though all of them in this most difficult time. Amen
AMEN!God watch over her.
A good prayer, Larry. Thank you.
Said a prayer
I have said a prayer for Linda’s safe return.Whomever took her Need’s to let her go and turn themselves in.
Praying for her and her family
I have been praying for her and her family. Home she comes home and is safe and sound. If she has left that she contact her parents or the police or someone so they know she is safe.
FBI Offers $10,000 Reward For Linda Stoltzfoos Info
It may be of assistance if the FBI would provide a photo of her with cosmetics on. Whether she left of her own accord or someone has taken her she may now be wearing cosmetics. Oftentimes individuals can look far different with cosmetics on vs. none.