It was confirmed on Thursday evening that, six days after he disappeared, the body of Aharon Soffer, a 23-year-old yeshiva student from New Jersey who went missing in the Jerusalem Forest last Friday, has been found.
The body was found in a forest thicket near Ein Kerem around 4:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
Police have confirmed that medical tests have concluded that the body is indeed Soffer’s, and have ruled out any suspicion of foul play. The body will be transferred to Soffer’s family in the coming hours.
Earlier reports indicated that Soffer may have fallen down a cliff while attempting to navigate his way out of the forest.
Police officers, ZAKA volunteers, special units and many others took part in the search for Soffer.
Yisrael Ehrlich, a volunteer with the United Hatzalah organization who participated in the search efforts was among the first to find the body.
"I joined a large group of United Hatzalah volunteers that combed the area of Ein Kerem by foot...soon after beginning our search we came across a man's body among the shrubbery that seemed to match the missing student's description, we immediately notified the police...and a large group of police and rapid-responders quickly appeared on the scene," he said.
"I was not expecting the incident to end in such a horrific tragedy," added Ehrlich.