Justo Smoker Pleads Not Guilty; 600 Search For Linda Stoltzfoos

Two updates in the Linda Stoltzfoos case. First, yesterday Justo Smoker pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and a related charge:

Justo Smoker will waive his arraignment Friday and has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and false imprisonment in the disappearance of Linda Stoltzfoos, according to court documents.

The 18-year-old Amish woman has been missing since June 21. She was last seen walking from church to her family’s home on Beechdale Road in near Bird-in-Hand in Upper Leacock Township.

The court proceeding, at which a judge explains criminal charges to a defendant and at which a defendant must indicate whether they understand them, is often waived. A defendant also enters a plea.

Second, a search Saturday for Linda involving hundreds failed to find sign of her:

A search Saturday for Linda Stoltzfoos that involved approximately 600 people came up empty, according to a Lancaster County official.

The search began at 7 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m., Lancaster County District Attorney spokesperson Brett Hambright said.

A state police release said the trained search and rescue volunteers, along with several K-9 units, gathered at the Ridgeview Mennonite Church to search in East Earl and West Earl townships. Approximately 2½ square miles were examined.

Agencies “continue to work around the clock”:

“We continue to have the same goal in this case, to continue to work together, as a community, to locate Linda Stoltzfoos,” the state police said. “We cannot thank the volunteers, the community, and our law enforcement partners enough for continuing to work together to help locate Linda.”

The large numbers of searchers shows us how much the family and community would like to find some sign of Linda. Over two months have passed since she was last seen.

Anyone with info should call the Pennsylvania State Police, Lancaster Barracks at 717-299-7650, or the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI.

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    1. Ellen

      Refuse him anything to eat and put him solatary until he confesses. Better yet, beat the hell out of him!

      1. Geo

        Me too

        My instincts exactly. Still, if I were his attorney, I would have to tell him to do exactly as he is doing. The advocate is obliged to put on the best defense for his client and facilitate the the process running it’s course. An old saying goes “The wheels of justice grind slowly but exceeding fine”.

    2. michelle

      finding Linda

      Keeping in mind that Mr. Smoker had a cell phone during the time Linda was abducted and harmed, and until he was taken in as a prime suspect couldn’t the cell phone carrier be able to tell where he was by tracing where his cell phone was? That way they could visit and search those areas. Also interviews with his family/friends to see where he was and see if the stories align. Also cameras in surrounding areas checked for his car location may be of help. Dis he work in a place he could easily dispose of her? Any traces of her DNA in his car? Many questions so little answers. So sad.