Search parties in Virginia are desperately looking for a missing firefighter who called in sick for work on the day she vanished. Authorities say 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff phoned her firehouse to say she wouldn’t be able to make it to work on April 13. Since then, her husband, Steve, has been leading the rescue efforts.
On the night of April 21, officials confirmed that a female body had been found in Shenandoah National Park. The search for Nicole Mittendorf has been suspended.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Car Was Found in a Parking Lot Outside of Shenandoah National Park on the Night of April 16
On the night of April 16, authorities found Mittendorff’s white 2009 Mini Cooper close to White Oak Canyon Trail at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Since then, search efforts have been centered around that area, according to the website Find-Nicole.com.
The park is about 60 miles southwest of Washington D.C. and is located in the Blue Ridge mountains. One of Mittendorff’s neighbors told WUSA, “Well she had friends out in the area. So it wasn’t a big surprise she was out there, but it’s a little bit surprising that she was that far out there.”
That website says that Mittendorff was a regular runner and competed in triathlons. Find Nicole describes her as “white female with blonde hair and green eyes. She is 5’6″ and weighs approximately 125 lbs.”
NBC Washington reports that Mittendorff’s cellphone carrier are helping with the investigation in attempting to triangulate any activity from her phone. The Find Nicole page also says that Mittendorff downloaded some documents to her mobile device.
2. Her Husband Steve Mittendorff Is a Virginia State Trooper
Mittendorff lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, with her husband Steve Mittendorff. He works as a Virginia State Trooper where he is a sergeant, according to his Facebook page. The couple has two dogs, a golden retriever, and a pit bull together. During a press conference on April 19, Steve Mittendorff said, “As you can imagine, the pain of not knowing where a loved one is can be unbearable.” WUSA reports that the couple were married in 2012.
She works as a Fairfax County paramedic-firefighter. County fire captain Dave Hall told the media that it was standard procedure for people to call in sick before 5 a.m. He added, “Nicole if you can hear us, reach out to us, give us a call,” Hall said. “Your home is still here. We’re waiting for you.” Hall also said that her gear is still inside her locker and hasn’t been touched in more than a week.
3. An Online Baby Registry Was Set Up in the Name of Mittendorff & Her Husband in October 2014
An online baby gift registry for Steven Mittendorff and Nicole Clardy, that is her maiden name, was set up in October 2014. The page does not list any gifts required or give a due date.
WUSA reports that state police do not think the page was created by the couple and said that Mittendorff is not pregnant.
4. In Thanking Volunteers, Mittendorf’s Father Referenced Luke 15, a Biblical Verse Known as ‘The Parable of Lost Sheep’
In a message to thank rescue workers posted to his Facebook page, Mittendorff’s father, Robert Clardy, wrote in part, “My deepest gratitude to all those who search for Nicole, are alert for her, and put out the word.” He also made reference to the bible verse Luke 15, which is known as “The Parable of Lost Sheep.”
WUSA reports that the Robert Clardy was the last person who was contacted by Mittendorff when she sent him a text on April 13.
5. Police Have No Indication That Foul Play Is Involved
The Virginia State Police is asking anybody with any information about Mittendorff’s whereabouts to contact them at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell phone or 911 or email at email@example.com. Officials have said that they have no indications that the missing woman is a victim of foul play.