missing persons

‘This is Unlike Her.' Lancaster County Amish Woman, 18, Missing After Church Services

Linda Stoltzfoos was last seen around 12:30 p.m. Sunday at a church service held at a home near Bird-in-Hand, Pa.

smiling girl in apron and dress
East Lampeter Township police

Searches continued Thursday for an 18-year-old Amish woman who was last seen at daytime church services in Lancaster County Sunday but did not arrive home or to an evening service.

Linda Stoltzfoos, 18, was reported missing this week, with a police spokesman in East Lampeter Township calling her disappearance "highly out of character" despite a desire among some young Amish people to leave the community.

"This is unlike her," Lt. Matthew Hess told NBC10. "There are certain teenage Amish kids who would have that personality or would express that interest, want to see the world. There was no indication that this is the case for Linda."

Stoltzfoos was last seen around 12:30 p.m. Sunday at a church service held at a home on Stumptown Road, near Bird-in-Hand. She was wearing a tan dress, white apron and white cape.

Multiple state, local and federal authorities are investigating the area, interviewing relatives and neighbors, and following up on leads for Stoltzfoos' whereabouts. A spokesman for District Attorney Heather Adams said the case is a top priority right now.

And the search involves dogs, horses, ATV equipment, and drones, plus a group of volunteers that grew so large that a local fire department had to start turning people away.

And though she's not believed to have left on her own accord, police had a message for Linda just in case.

"We want Linda to know that if she is watching or listening to this, she is not in any trouble," Hess said. "We are only concerned for her welfare," he added, before encouraging her to call the police department and check in.

And a group from her community was seen waiting by the phones in case she calls.

A Facebook page, Amish Girl Missing - Linda Stoltzfoos contains several videos of community prayer circles and updates on the search.

Authorities ask anyone with information to call the East Lampeter Police at 717-291-4676.

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