The search continues Monday for a Fairfax County firefighter and paramedic whose vehicle was found abandoned Saturday, just one day after she was reported missing.
Nicole Mittendorff, 31, was reportedly last heard from on Wednesday, April 13, via text, family members say. Then, when she didn't show up for her shift changeover Friday morning at Merrifield station, it was clear something was very wrong. Those close to Nicole say she is "extremely dedicated to her job."
Officials located her 2009 Mini Cooper Saturday night in a parking lot in Shenandoah National Park, about 30 miles away from Nicole's last known location in Warrenton, Virginia.
Searchers spent the night scouring the park by ground and air for any sign of Nicole, but it's unclear what, if anything, was found. Dog teams were brought in Monday morning to aid in the efforts, an official told Dateline.
"State police are continuing to concentrate their search operation in the region of White Oak Canyon Trail, where Nicole Mittendorff's vehicle was discovered," Corinne Geller, of the Virgina State Police, told Dateline. Foul play is not suspected at this time.
Nicole is an avid runner, frequently exploring trails to train for triathlons and other events, her family says. Thousands have now shared her image. The Facebook page 'Find Nicole' has gathered more than 6,500 'likes' since it was made Friday. The original posting by Nicole's father has been shared more than 87,000 times.
"My deepest gratitude to all those who search for Nicole, are alert for her, and put out the word." Robert Clardy, Nicole's father, posted on Facebook Sunday afternoon. "Thank you to all who offer comfort to us."
Nicole's husband is an employee of the Virginia State Police and took to Facebook Saturday to thank everyone for their efforts in finding his wife.
"The work is not done however and I continue to ask for your prayers for both our family and the many who continue to investigate," he posted.
Nicole Mittendorff is described as 5'6" tall, weighing 125 lbs. with short, blonde hair and green eyes.
If you have any information regarding her whereabouts, you're urged to call the Virginia State Police at (703) 803-0026.