The search for missing Virginia firefighter Nicole Mittendorff was suspended on the evening of April 21. Tragically, her body has found in Shenandoah National Park, close to where Mittendorff's car had been found on April 16. She was 31 years old. ABC Washington reports that both the National Park Service and the Virginia State Police confirmed the discovery of remains. The dead person was found in a "remote area," according to a statement from officials.
Newsplex reporter Taylor Cairns reports that there no criminal investigation regarding Mittendorff's death. Suicide is the suspected cause of death.
In an initial reaction to the news, Mittendorff's family said on the Find Nicole Facebook page, "At this time the family does not have any information pertaining to this, as we have additional information we will update the Facebook page. We appreciate everyone's continued prayers and support." Later, the Mittedorff family confirmed her passing by saying, "Our hearts are broken. We thank you for your support and ask that you keep our family in your prayers in the challenging days ahead."
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.
Here are the photos that celebrate Nicole Mittendorff's life, a life that was ended far too soon: