RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the search for a missing firefighter in Shenandoah National Park (all times local):
Virginia State Police say troopers have preliminarily identified the body found in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia as that of a paramedic-firefighter who disappeared a week ago.
Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in an email late Thursday that the body is likely 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff of Woodbridge, Virginia.
Geller says the Virginia medical examiner will have to confirm the identity, and the body was taken to the chief medical examiner’s office in Manassas, Virginia.
The ground search for Mittendorff was called off about 2 p.m. Thursday after the remains were found in a remote location more than a mile from the Whiteoak Canyon parking area, the National Park Service and Virginia State Police said in a news release.
Mittendorff’s sister, Jennifer Clardy Chalmers, said in a statement that the family believes Mittendorff has been found, but not in the way they had anticipated.
Geller says evidence collected during the investigation, including a note found in her car, leads troopers to believe that foul play is not involved in Mittendorff’s death.
Female remains were found in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia on Thursday during the search for a paramedic-firefighter who disappeared a week ago, the National Park Service said.
The ground search for Nicole Mittendorff of Woodbridge, Virginia, was called off about 2 p.m. after the remains were found in a remote location more than a mile from the Whiteoak Canyon parking area, the Park Service and Virginia State Police said in a news release. The release did not definitively identify the remains as those of Mittendorff, however. Authorities announced a news conference for Thursday evening.
Mittendorff’s car was found in the parking area on Saturday, a day after she was reported missing when she didn’t show up for her job with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. Law enforcers say the remains were found about 330 yards from the trail in treacherous, rocky terrain.
Mittendorff, 31, is an avid runner and tri-athlete; her family said earlier this week that she may have been training on a trail near where her car was found.