Who is Justo Smoker?
Justo Smoker is the man who was reportedly charged with criminal homicide after Linda’s human remains found during a search Wednesday is that of the missing Amish teenager Linda Stoltzfoos who disappeared in Pennsylvania last summer, officials believe.
Stoltzfoos, 18, was last seen walking home from a church service in the Bird-in-Hand area of Lancaster on June 21 last year. She never returned home. Officials said then that the suspect’s DNA was discovered on the victim’s stocking, which had been found buried in the woods alongside her bra.
The teen’s body was finally found on Wednesday. Now, prosecutors are pursuing murder charges against Justo Smoker. https://t.co/k0CXbVob4p
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 22, 2021
How old is Justo Smoker?
Justo Smoker is 34 years old as of the year 2021.
Justo Smoker Lancaster Pa
Smoker has an extensive criminal history stretching back to 2005 and has spent the majority of his adult life behind bars. He had been a former high school wrestling all-star who had a 3.0-grade point average and earned a place on the Lancaster-Lebanon wrestling all-star team in 2003.
He was sentenced to serve 12-and-a-half years to 30 years in prison following a string of armed robberies in 2006. Smoker pleaded guilty to the robberies, during which he and his brother, Victor, used a BB gun to rob four different businesses between Aug. 8 and Aug. 13, 2006.
Justo Smoker Brother, Parents, Family
During the trial, Smoker was revealed to have been adopted at age seven after he was found ‘living on the street, just trying to survive’, his defense attorney said.
‘They raised me better than this,’ Smoker told the judge of his adoptive parents. ‘I’m sorry for what I did and the people I hurt, including my family.’
His adoptive father said Smoker had been ‘trouble since we got him.’ The judge told Smoker at the 2007 hearing that he could have imposed a sentence that would have kept him in prison for twice as long, if not the rest of his life, Lancaster Online reported.
But, the judge said he issued a sentence that ensures ‘society is protected, but that you could still come out and lead a reasonable life.’
Smoker ended up serving nearly the minimum on that sentence and was released on Feb. 28, 2019.
Where did Justo Smoker work?
Smoker worked at Dutchland Inc., a water treatment supply company, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Linda Stoltzfoos Update Today
Lancaster County DA Heather Adams said Thursday they now believe Stoltzfoos was killed within hours of her kidnap and initially buried at that location before her body was moved to where it was found Wednesday.
The remains were found buried more than three feet down and wrapped in a tarp behind Dutchland Incorporated, the former workplace of Smoker in a rural area in the eastern part of Lancaster County, she said.
A dress, bonnet, and shoes matching what Linda was last seen in were also found.
Prosecutors noted that Wednesday marked exactly 10 months since Stoltzfoos disappeared.
Linda Stoltzfoos Found
DA Adams said the surrounding area where the remains were found Wednesday had been already been searched by police.
She did not comment on what led to the discovery Wednesday.
Adams told reporters: ‘While the coroner’s office has not yet made a positive forensic identification, based on all of the information currently known and available to us, we strongly believe and are comfortable saying, that the remains are those of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.’
An autopsy is planned for Friday.
Justo Smoker Linda Stoltzfoos
Last month, a county judge ruled that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for a homicide trial against Smoker, 35, of Paradise, in the disappearance of Stoltzfoos. Prosecutors have said friends and family report that Stoltzfoos was happy with her life and had never expressed any desire to leave.
In fact, they say, she had made plans to join others in a church youth group that day.
Smoker was initially charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment.
But in December, he was charged with homicide, with prosecutors alleging that the passing of time, along with the complete cessation of all routine activities led to the inevitable conclusion that Linda was deceased and that Smoker caused her death.
Justo Smoker Hearing
Stoltzfoos was reported missing on the evening of Father’s Day by her father after she failed to return home from a youth group she had been set to attend. Investigators say Stoltzfoos never made it to the social gathering that night.
Surveillance footage observed by authorities captured Stoltzfoos walking alone on Beechdale Road, a route she typically took home after church. A red Kia Rio that matched Smoker’s vehicle registration number was also seen in the footage.
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.
‘Smoker became a person of interest in the kidnapping after police received information about a red/orange vehicle seen in the Gap area on the afternoon of the abduction,’ the East Lampeter Township Police Department said in a press release in July last year.