HUMAN remains have been discovered in the search for a missing 18-year-old Amish girl who vanished exactly ten months ago, authorities announced.
Linda Stoltzfoos disappeared after attending a church service in Pennsylvania on June 21 last year and is believed to have been abducted and killed by Justo Smoker, 35.
A huge investigation involving the FBI, the East Lampeter Township Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police uncovered the grisly discovery in a rural area in the eastern area of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
The scene must be “forensically processed” before the remains can be released for formal identification and the cause of death to be determined by a coroner, the Lancaster County District Attorney announced.
The Stoltzfoos family have been notified by police.
The state has been gripped by Linda’s disappearance on Father’s Day 2020 that saw Smoker arrested for kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment the following month.
He was then charged with homicide in December after prosecutors said the his “complete cessation of all routine activities” and the duration of time that had passed suggested Linda had died and Smoker was respoonsible.
The cases lead investigator, East Lampeter Township police Detective Christopher Jones, delivered testimony from several Amish women who had said a man of Smoker’s description had been stalking them the day before Linda disappeared.
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Smoker’s cell phone records and surveillance cameras put him and his car in the area of the abduction, before he drove to the densely forested Welsh Mountain area.
He then headed to the 3100 block of Harvest Drive, where cops found a buried bra and stockings that are believed to belong to Linda.
She was last seen wearing a “tan dress, white apron and white cape.”