Justo Smoker Has Been Charged With Homicide In Linda Stoltzfoos Case

The news is breaking that Justo Smoker, charged with kidnapping Linda Stoltzfoos, has now been charged with killing her:

State police on Monday charged Justo Smoker — already facing a trial related to the kidnapping of Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos — directly with the June death of the Lancaster woman, according to an arrest warrant.

Police cited numerous sources of evidence, including witness accounts, DNA testing, video surveillance and cellphone records, to reach the conclusion that Smoker, 34, of Paradise, took Stoltzfoos, 18, against her will and killed her on June 21. Her body has not been found, despite numerous searches.

“All evidence leads to the inevitable conclusion that Justo Smoker killed Linda Stoltzfoos during the commission of her kidnapping and discarded her body,” the warrant states.

In the warrant, police discuss video surveillance, which shows two individuals, who they say are Smoker and Stoltzfoos, at the time and place where the teen was kidnapped in Lancaster County.

Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said the following:

“After reviewing and receiving all the evidence compiled in this investigation over the last six months, including additional evidence developed since the arrest of Smoker, we have come to the tragic and inescapable conclusion that Linda is deceased.”

There appear to be at least two pieces of additional information not before revealed, related to video footage and clothing evidence:

“After encountering Stoltzfoos, there appears to be motion toward the head area of Stoltzfoos consistent with placing something over her head and the two then walk together back across to the west side of Beechdale Road,” the warrant states.

And also:

In addition, police founded clothing that was later identified as Stoltzfioos’ buried in a wooded area in Ronks. Smoker’s DNA was found on the clothing after it was tested in a lab, the warrant states.

More comments from the Lancaster County D.A.:

“Given the circumstances of Linda’s disappearance; specifically, that she was forcefully abducted by a stranger, we always feared she suffered a tragic fate,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams says. “After careful consideration of all of the facts uncovered by the investigation as a whole, we are now in a position – legally – to charge Smoker with murder.”

And more on the charge from Lancaster Crime Watch.

The charge comes six months to the day when Linda disappeared on June 21st.

Many have been holding out hope that Linda is still alive. But authorities do not believe that is the case, and made that clear with this charge.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply to WESLEY HORNBERG Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. Leslie Harris

      Justo Smoker Has Been Charged With Homicide In Linda Stoltzfoos Case

      Gut-wrenching. Heart-breaking.

      Yet he will be forgiven by the family and community he so brutally violated.

      Linda will be looking down from her place in Paradise praying for the man who took her life.

      The Amish and Mennonites can be pretty damned amazing folks.

    2. Debbie

      Some questions regarding this case.

      Thank you for the update. I really wonder concerning the Amish, does forgiveness mean that they wouldn’t punish murderers? Let them be free to kill others? Also with this case in particular, I wonder why he would bury her clothes, but not her?

      1. Beverly

        Update on Linda Stolfus case

        Debbie- My response to your statement of “I wonder why he would bury her clothes, but not her?”

        We do not know,that Linda has not been buried! I submit that he buried her brassier and “stocking” (that were dug up)..was because he needed to get rid of it as he had left his DNA (usually body fluid such as semen) on it.

        Dacia- The DNA on Linda’s “Stocking” was tested and proven to belong to Smoker!

        So…if he is claiming he is “not guilty” of her disappearance, WHY is his DNA on her stocking??

        1. Debbie

          Reply to Beverly

          Thank you for your reply. I do know she may be buried. What I meant was why certain clothing is buried by itself. Your take is that it had his DNA on it (semen). However, his DNA is probably all over her body & other clothing, as well. Perhaps he had kept those intimate clothing items as trophies, then rid of them later, tho not as carefully as her body.

          1. Beverly

            Buried items

            Debbie- You have a valid point!

      2. Carol Hogan

        Is it really forgiveness?

        There is NO Scriptural forgiveness that is not accompanied by repentance. To forgive someone who has no sorrow for sin, who has not repented of their sin against another, is no forgiveness at all. We pray to the Lord God, “forgive us our tresspasses.” We are, therefore repenting of our sins, and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness without repentance is a total mockery of Biblcal standards.


        Keep Detectives watching the Crime Rings

        Since there is no body, the investigators do not know for sure that she was not sold. Especially with the recent rash of attempts to kidnap and then profit by selling into slavery. Clothes could be buried and the person could still be sold – hence no body.
        It takes the Heat off the crime rings is she is considered dead since there would be no further attempts to search the black market white slavery cartels. The detectives must still keep searching the underground rings of this lucrative trade! I heard a Mennonite girl recently (also in the SE PA area) was almost abducted and she had already been sold, but it was stopped in time. Are we sure? Where is the body? How much interrogation pressure do they need to use to get Just to talk?

    3. Dacia Murphy

      Evidence sounds pretty sketchy, sorry.

      1. Aj


        They have DNA, video surveillance, witnesses, and phone records: They can place him at the scene of her disappearance and also the buried clothing. He knows what happened to her. He knows what he did with her body.

    4. Melanie

      My heart continues to break

      With this NEW’S I can only hope that Justo Stoker will be tried to the fullest extent.He should endure the same pain and suffering until he head’s police to her body.

    5. Peace of mind.

      If Mr. Smoker could at least apologize to Linda’s family thus admitting to what he did. Would bring to an end.

      1. Candace

        Peace of Mind

        Bob Johnson, apologizing to the family will not ever bring closure. For heavens sake, he still pleads not guilty. They need to keep him alive and keep him tortured until he can no longer take the pain and tells the authorities where he put her body. Only when she is found and properly buried maybe will there be some bit of closure for her family. Then he needs to get the death penalty!

        1. Melanie


          Linda,I can’t agree more.God will take care of her.

    6. Weber-Schulz Anne



      I’d like to write or phone Linda’s family. We’ve a family member who is a police officer and I have some questions to ask them.

      (Please don’t publish my last name..).

      Thank you


      1. Candace

        Anne Weber Schulz, do you really think because you have a family member who is a police officer that you now have a right to ask questions????

    7. Larry Simon

      Forgive them for they know not what they do! Luke 23-34

      The one who forgives is the one who realizes that they have been forgiven. The only person who did not need to be forgiven was Jesus. And he on the cross was asking his father God to forgive the ones who were crucifying him. Those who caused
      His crucification, including us who put their faith in him because of our sins, and those physically killed him. Forgiveness is an undeserved gift that we all need. Even if we don’t realize our need! Maybe this is what Mr. Smoker needs for his eyes to be open to his need of forgiveness from God through Jesus.

    8. Helen

      So Sad...

      I should very much hate to have my body discarded like so much trash…

      1. Aj

        What could justify in his mind murdering and dumping her like trash?

        I hope Linda’s family can heal from this ordeal and tragedy. There are people in this world that are evil and who have no respect or care for another life. They think the world revolves around them and that what exist is for them to take without realizing or caring about the pain and suffering it brings to others.

    9. June


      This is such sad news. I held out prayers that if nothing more she had been sold to the black market. And would be found. If that had been the case – how much would she have suffered living with her life? Being born into Holiness, her life was on a different chosen path. We can be sure that Linda entered into the presence of the Lord a martyr and fully received as His child. My prayers for her family and friends and community at this time. I’m sure she was a special gift to them. I hold out hope that a new law will go into effect condemning those who hurt Amish people. It’s appalling someone would do that to any child or adult but the Amish standards of life are different and their purity should be valued.
      I’m so sorry to your family Linda- such a difficult time of year for such news. May God hold you close and give you comfort.


        Black Market ?

        Since there is no body, how do the investigators not know that she was not sold? Especially with the recent rash of attempts to kidnap and then profit by selling into slavery. Clothes could be buried and the person could still be sold – hence no body.
        Then also she would be considered dead and so there would be no further attempts to search the black market white slavery cartels. They could be at ease then. Phew – not looking for her any more!
        Are detectives still searching the underground rings of this lucrative trade? I heard a Mennonite girl recently (also in the SE PA area) almost was abducted and she had already been sold, but it was stopped in time.

        1. Christin Bowra

          truth serum

          serum-sodium pentathol can be geven by IV.
          No one can lie or not answer a question under this medication.
          The authorities should consider this!

      2. Beverly

        Smoker's treatment of Linda

        June-Amish or not..a female is a female in the eyes of a male with rape and murder on his mind and the devil in his heartless being!

    10. Aj

      Hopefully, more awareness can be attended to this matter. Police need to stop saying “incidents like this are rear against the Amish”. I think the English world and English authorities, documentary makers, and newspapers should come to grips that their world is no more freer and no safer for the Amish. There is no more sexual abuse within the Amish community than there is outside it, so the media and English should stop portraying negative depictions of Amish life based on what a minority do. They should recognize that they have a lot more Smokers among them, than Amish have among themselves.

    11. Beverly

      Smoker guilty

      Christin/others- Smoker has to give his permission to be given a lie detector test; of which I am pretty sure was offered to him. Law enforcement cannot legally give him a shot of “truth serum” against his will as well!

      Remember, Smoker is considered innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.
      His trial will be up and coming..next year. It is the burden of proof on the prosecutor, to present all the circumstantial evidence they have, in order for him to be found guilty of murdering her. Now remember..without having found Miss Linda thus far, it’s going to be somewhat difficult to convince the jury of his peers..that he is guilty beyond a “reason of doubt”! No body found….doubt can come into judgment finding him guilty of her death. There might be other charges against him…Like 2nd degree manslaughter or he might just agree to cop to an “Alford plea”. Meaning..Smoker will not admit to guilt..but would agree, that under the circumstances of what the prosecutor would present against him..that the jury would likely find him guilty. Or..he might just continue to keep saying he is “not guilty” to the very end of his trial. We just don’t know at this point in time! Law enforcement is not revealing everything they have and know. That could compromise their on going investigation. That’s the last thing they would want to have happen! They are also not obligated to tell us anything as well. I do know..Smoker’s defense is going to have to give some sort of explanation as to why his “fluid” was found on her clothing item they dug up!
      But in the mean time, no use on speculating on what happened. I’m pretty sure the detectives have a legit reason as to why they stated she most likely is no longer alive. But we can always pray and hope she is!!

    12. Glad that they caught the guy

      I’m glad that justice will be served