Body of missing U.S. student found in Israel

By Melissa Barclay,

The body of a 23-year-old American student was found after he went missing last week while hiking in a forest near Jerusalem.

According to USA Today, the victim Aaron Sofer was from New Jersey and in Israel as a Jewish seminary student. While hiking in the woods near the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, he went missing.

Sofer’s body was found early Thursday and was identified earlier in the day. No details on how Sofer was killed or the circumstances of his death were revealed.

“Tests showed that no criminal act was committed and the body will be transferred to the family in the coming hours,” police said.

Micky Rosenfeld, police spokesman, said Sofer had been hiking with a friend when they became separated and lost contact with each other. Canine units, volunteers, and helicopters were used in the search for Sofer. The entire Jerusalem forest, which is about 310 acres, was searched, reported Reuters.

Sofer’s family flew to Israel after receiving the news. The family believes his death was accidental, due to Sofer not being the most experienced hiker.

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