Body of Missing US Hiker May Have Been Found in Israel

Aharon Sofer of New Jersey never returned from a hike last week

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2014 12:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Police have found a body in an Israeli forest where a young American hiker went missing about a week ago, reports the Jerusalem Post. The body hasn't been identified yet, but authorities are working on the "strong possibility" that it is that of 23-year-old Aharon Sofer, a New Jersey resident studying in Israel, reports Haaretz. Sofer went for a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest on Friday, but the pair got separated and Sofer never emerged from the woods.

Sofer's parents traveled from Lakewood, NJ, to Israel to help with the search and offered a reward of about $30,000, reports CNN. Their son had left the US to study at a rabbinical college and was to be gone three years, a family friend tells the Star-Ledger. He went hiking while on a break from classes. Police have not offered any details on whether they think foul play was involved.

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind addresses a gathering as he stands near a photograph of Aharon Sofer, 23, Tuesday in Lakewood, NJ.
New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind addresses a gathering as he stands near a photograph of Aharon Sofer, 23, Tuesday in Lakewood, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A photograph of Aharon Sofer, 23, is nearby as people listen during a news conference Tuesday in Lakewood, NJ.
A photograph of Aharon Sofer, 23, is nearby as people listen during a news conference Tuesday in Lakewood, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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