Did Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos intend to leave her community, or were there other reasons behind her dissappearence? That’s what her community wants to know after she was last seen leaving a church service at Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania by foot before seemingly disappearing without a trace.
“It’s quite unusual,” East Lampeter Township Police Department‘s Lt. Matt Hess told York Daily Record. “I don’t recall anything like this in the last 15 years. It’s like she just disappeared without any reason.”
While it isn’t uncommon for Amish teens to decide to leave, 18-year-old Stolzfoos had shown no signs of wanting to leave, those close to her said.
“Nothing leads us to believe she wanted to leave on her own,” Hess said.
Following initial, unsuccessful searches, police had reported that she “may be at special risk of harm or injury” and “we can’t rule out foul play.” The FBI is also assisting in the investigation.
There are still countless searches occurring both by non-Amish locals and the Amish, according to Facebook page Amish Girl Missing – Linda Stoltzfoos, and police are continuing to wind up their involvement. The non-Amish are also holding prayer vigils.
Stolzfoos was wearing a tan dress at the time of her disappearance and if she did leave on her own accord, police want her to know she is not in trouble and should contact them as soon as possible.
“The Amish are very quick to forgive,” Stolzfooz’s uncle, Merv Fischer, said. He and his wife left the order years ago, according to York Daily Record. “'It’s God’s will,' and, 'We forgive,' is what they think. … But they have an unwavering faith that the truth will prevail. They have an unwavering faith that God is in control.”
Anyone with more information should contact the East Lampeter Township Police Department at 717-291-4676.