Search for Missing Firefighter Comes to Tragic End

Nicole Mittendorff found dead in national park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2016 1:35 AM CDT
Search for Missing Firefighter Comes to Tragic End
This photo provided by the Virginia State Police shows paramedic-firefighter Nicole Mittendorff.   (Virginia State Police via AP)

The search for missing firefighter and paramedic Nicole Mittendorff came to a sad end on Thursday when her body was found in a remote area of Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. Police say they found a suicide note in the 31-year-old's vehicle and foul play is not suspected, WJLA reports. Mittendorff, whose husband is a Virginia state trooper, was reported missing after she failed to turn up for work in Fairfax County last Friday. Her vehicle was found on Saturday in the Whiteoak Canyon Trail parking area, sparking an intensive search that ended when her body was found in treacherous terrain around a mile away.

Police say physical and digital evidence gathered in the investigation, including the note, led them to believe there was no foul play involved, the Washington Post reports. "Our hearts are broken," her family said in a statement when searchers announced that a body had been found. "We believe that Nicole has been found and is finally coming home, however not in the way we anticipated. This is not the positive outcome that we continued to hope and pray for over the past week." Police have not disclosed how or when Mittendorff is believed to have died. (More missing woman stories.)

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