DA: Officials find remains that could be Amish teen who went missing 10 months ago

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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WJW) — Law enforcement officers have recovered human remains that they say could be an 18-year-old Amish teen that went missing last summer.

Linda Stoltzfoos (Courtesy: Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office)

Officials found the remains, which may be of Linda Stoltzfoos, in a rural area in the eastern part of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, according to a Wednesday press release from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office was reportedly called to the scene, which is being forensically processed. The DA says the remains will then be released to the coroner for official identification and determination of cause and manner of death.

Officials have not yet confirmed that the remains are that of Stoltzfoos. The DA will provide more updates as a later time.

According to authorities, Stoltzfoos went missing on June 21, 2020. She was last seen walking home from church. Wednesday marked the 10 month anniversary of her disappearance.

Community members and law enforcement officers had searched more than 15,000 hours in an effort to bring Stoltzfoos home. During their search, authorities found items of her clothing buried in a wooded area. DNA evidence tying Justo Smoker, 35, to the case was found on one of her buried stockings.

One month after Stoltzfoos’ disappearance, Smoker was charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment, the DA reports.

He was later charged with one count of criminal homicide relating to the teen’s death. This charge came after prosecutors alleged that the passing of time, along with the complete cessation of all routine activities led to the inevitable conclusion that Stoltzfoos was dead and that Smoker caused her death.

Smoker is currently incarcerated at Lancaster County Prison and awaiting trial.

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