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Linda Stoltzfoos

Linda Stoltzfoos: Accused killer to plead guilty this week

A Pennsylvania man accused of kidnapping and killing Linda Stolzfoos, the 18-year-old Amish woman who disappeared walking home from church last year, will plead guilty Friday, but it’s not clear what charges are involved in the deal.

Justo Smoker, 35, has been charged with homicide, kidnapping, and false imprisonment and is on the Lancaster County Court calendar to enter a guilty plea Friday morning. The court docket does not specify charges, and his attorney, Christopher Tallarico, also declined to provide details, according to Lancaster Online.

District Attorney Heather Adams had no comment on Wednesday but has scheduled a news conference after Friday’s hearing.

Authorities have said they believe Smoker abducted Stoltzfoos on July 21, 2020, as the 18-year-old walked home from church, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Her body was found in April on property belonging to Amtrak near Smoker’s former employer in Gap. Investigators believe he initially buried her body in Ronks, about a mile and a half from where Stoltzfoos was last seen and where investigators found a bra and a pair of stockings. They believe he moved the body a few days later to Gap, about nine miles from Ronks.

The coroner ruled that she died from asphyxiation, with a stab wound to the neck a contributing factor.

Mervin Fisher, Stoltzfoos’s uncle, told Lancaster Online that he plans to be at the hearing on Friday but that her parents do not. He said they could change their minds.

Read CrimeOnline’s previous reporting on this story.

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