Israeli police say they have found the body of a 23-year-old New Jersey yeshiva student who vanished while hiking in the Jerusalem Forest a week ago while hiking with a friend. "Following a forensic examination, the body ... was identified as that of missing person Aaron Sofer. Tests showed that no criminal act was committed and the body will be transferred to the family in the coming hours," Reuters quoted a police spokeswoman as saying late Thursday.
Sofer, 23, grew up in Lakewood, New Jersey, but went to Israel to study. There was fear that he might have been abducted, though no kidnapping claim was ever made. His cousin, actress Rena Sofer, tweeted on Wednesday that "no foul play" was involved, though police did not release any details about the circumstances of his death. Sofer's parents flew to Israel this week to assist in the search and said on Wednesday, before the body was found, that they believed he was alive.
- Body Found in Israeli Forest Where N.J. Student Vanished (NBC Philadelphia)
- Grave Concern for New Jersey Student Who Vanished in Israel (NBC New York)