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Human Remains Found In Search Connected To Disappearance Of Amish Teen Linda Stoltzfoos

LANCASTER, Pa. (KDKA/AP) - Human remains have been discovered in rural Lancaster County in a search related to the disappearance of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos, an Amish teen who hasn't been seen since last summer.

Police say on the tenth month anniversary of Stoltzfoos' disappearance, the Lancaster County Coroner's Office was called to a rural area in the eastern part of the county where human remains were discovered.

linda Stoltzfoos
(Photo: FBI)

Police say the scene will be forensically processed. Then the remains will be officially identified and the coroner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Justo Smoker, 34, of Paradise, was charged with criminal homicide in the case of Stoltzfoos, who has been missing since June 21.

Stoltzfus was last seen walking home from church in the Bird-in-Hand area, and no sign of her has been found since, Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said. Friends and family said Stoltzfoos was happy with her life and had never expressed any desire to leave, and she had made plans to join others in a church youth group the day she disappeared, Adams said.

All of the evidence, including evidence developed since the suspect's arrest, has led investigators to "the tragic and inescapable conclusion that Linda is deceased," she said.

Smoker was earlier charged with a felony kidnapping count and misdemeanor false imprisonment. Authorities said surveillance video enhanced by FBI forensic technicians depicted her abduction and showed a red sedan, the same kind of car owned by the defendant, was involved in the abduction.

In a rural location in Ronks where they believe the victim might have been taken and where the vehicle was seen parked June 23, authorities found items of Stoltzfoos' clothing buried in a wooded area, prosecutors said. A DNA profile "attributable to Smoker" was found on one of her buried stockings, Adams said.

(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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