Linda Stoltzfoos: FBI offers $10,000 reward in search for missing Amish teenager in Pennsylvania

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An FBI missing person flier regarding missing Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos: FBI
An FBI missing person flier regarding missing Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos: FBI

The FBI is assisting local authorities in a search for a missing Amish teenager from Pennsylvania.

The agency is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading regarding the location of Linda Stoltzfoos, an 18-year-old Amish teen who disappeared after a church service in East Lampeter Township, Pennsylvania on 21 June.

The teen was last seen at a farm in the community of Bird-in-Hand, shortly after noon on the day she disappeared.

Lt Matt Hess, of the East Lampeter Township Police Department, told NBC10 that while teens do occasionally run away from Amish communities, there is no evidence indicating Ms Stotzfoos was considering a departure.

"She didn't indicate to anyone that she wanted to go take a trip, so it's very out of character for Linda to do this," Mr Hess said. "We want Linda to know that if she is watching or listening to this, she is not in any trouble. We are only concerned for her welfare."

Hundreds of volunteers have searched for hours for Ms Stoltzfoos since her disappearance.

Mr Hess said this is the first case of an Amish woman disappearing from the community since he began as a police officer.

"It's not a common occurrence," he said.

Lancaster County is home to the oldest Amish community in North America and is one of the two largest settlements in the US. Missing person fliers have been posted in Lancaster and the surrounding counties.

The Amish — a community of Christian church fellowships with Swiss German origins that shuns technology and lives a faith-based, agrarian lifestyle — are largely concentrated in the US states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The region where the bulk of the US Amish live is known as "Amish Country." Despite the Amish being relatively private people, tourists from across the world visit Amish Country, both to see the group's unique culture and to purchase their handcrafted goods.

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