Man charged with homicide in case of missing Amish girl pleads not guilty


Thursday, March 25, Justo Smoker waived his arraignment on a charge of homicide for the disappearance of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos and entered a plea of not guilty. His arraignment had been scheduled for the following day.


Smoker had similarly waived his arraignment on the first charges filed against him back in August 2020 for kidnapping and false imprisonment. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.


Linda Stoltzfoos went missing on June 21, 2020 and her body has not been found. Some of her clothing items were recovered from a wooded area where they had been buried. DNA samples lifted from those clothing items matched a cheek swab taken from 35-year-old Smoker.


The District Attorney is still investigating whether or not there are aggravating circumstances which would allow for pursuing the death penalty and has requested additional time to make their determination. District Attorney Heather Adams stated that Linda's family would be consulted as well.


Smoker remains in the Lancaster County Prison without bail.


At the time of his arrest he had been out of prison for just 16 months after serving 12 1/2 years for a number of robberies he and his brother Victor Smoker had been convicted of committing in August 2006.


His next court date is not known at this time.



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