I just watched a press conference on the Linda Stoltzfoos disappearance, which concluded less than an hour ago. Four people spoke – the Lancaster County DA, East Lampeter PD Chief, a PA State Trooper, and an FBI agent on the case.
Lancaster County DA Karen Adams repeated that they still have reason to believe Linda was harmed. She emphasized that Justo Smoker’s car is distinct, with a missing hubcap, black trim, a rear spoiler, and “LCM” sticker on the back.
East Lampeter Police Chief Stephen Zerbe stated that there are searches ongoing at different locations. But they can’t reveal locations of searches, because visitors and unofficial searchers might compromise the areas.
FBI Agent Frank Apicella repeated that there is nothing unusual about the FBI assisting. He detailed the FBI’s contributions including technical assistance with digital evidence, and stated that the $10,000 reward for information “remains in place.”
But to me the two biggest takeaways were, first, PA State Trooper Kevin Kochka’s request for residents of the townships to share “any information they might have” along with home surveillance footage. He specifically named residents of 5 Lancaster County townships:
- East Earl
- East Lampeter
Kochka asked residents from those townships to “think whether they might have seen the red Kia Rio pictured here in recent weeks, and if so, where they saw it. Knowing as much as we can about the movements of that red Kia Rio will assist greatly in this investigation.”
Further, on home surveillance footage: “We ask those residents in those areas, with Ring doorbells, Nest cameras, and other home surveillance devices to review their footage from June 21st and days after. We are asking that information and footage pertaining to the vehicle be submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop J Lancaster at 717-299-7650.”
“To reiterate, there is no piece of information or evidence in this case that is insignificant,” Kochka said.
Second, there are now new, clearer images of Justo Smoker’s KIA Rio. However, I can’t yet locate the images online doing basic searches or other sources. It sounds like they have just now been released. You can partially see them here cropped from the press conference livestream video.
I have sent messages to two of the agencies listed above asking for the images, and will update this page when I get them. Or perhaps they will appear online in other sources.
UPDATE: The photos.
UPDATE 2: Here is the affidavit in the case. Hat tip to reader Ben for passing it along.
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still praying ...
You can find images of the car in this article, from the York Daily Record:
Why couldn’t police do a google earth search to look for the car? I understand it could be in a building but I’m just thinking of things to help out with.
Of the 5 areas they want to cover, how much is that in acreage?
I think they need more help to look. What about underground? Who are his close friends? Where do his family live?
So sad. I just want her found and safe.
Unfortunately for this case at least, Google Earth is not constantly recording imagery. Apparently the images may be updated about once per month, though some might be years old.
Watching the press conference yesterday, they seem to be investigating this very professionally and methodically. It looks like the biggest way that the public can help at this point is if residents of the 5 townships mentioned with surveillance systems would review any footage available from June 21 and after. That seems to me a big task given the amount of time involved, but maybe some of the smarter systems have ways of filtering imagery to show vehicles within certain parameters. Manually it would take a long time. But I think the police are most interested in June 21 and the days immediately following (my impression only from what I’ve heard/read).
Did anyone walk the railroad tracks, Under Bridges, Locate His Friends, Put some hard Pressure on this Smoker, Make him talk,
Still praying for Linda to safely be returned. I can’t imagine anyone doing something so harmful to anyone but especially to an Amish girl. I wonder if he sold her to human trafficking? Prayers for God to cover her with His Love and protection. Prayers for her community to be strong and may we have a good ending to this story.
Could you provide me with a link to the affidavit of probably cause for this case. It seems like you were getting information from that and I’m unable to find it.
Ben I haven’t gotten into the affidavit – everything I posted here was taken directly from the Thursday press conference. Looks like it’s still viewable here: https://www.facebook.com/LancasterOnline/videos/1445091025677092/
If I come across the affidavit I’ll share it.
Thank you Eric, I appreciate that.
I watched the press conference as well.
There are so many murmurings and rumors so I just try to stick with the source for my information and not get too distracted by the speculators.
Sure, I certainly understand that approach. I get why people feel a need to speculate too when there is a void of information and the situation is so disturbing. Some of it can be unhelpful of course.