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Body found near Jerusalem may be missing American, police say

Posters showing a picture of Aharon Sofer were on display as volunteers searched for him. Authorities said a body believed to be Sofer has been found.

AP

Posters showing a picture of Aharon Sofer were on display as volunteers searched for him. Authorities said a body believed to be Sofer has been found.

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JERUSALEM — A body found Thursday in a forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem was believed to be that of an American student who went missing while hiking in the area last Friday.

An Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said a forensics team was still trying to confirm the identification but that there was a “strong possibility” that it was the body of the American, Aharon Sofer, 23, a yeshiva student from New Jersey. Rosenfeld said an investigation was underway to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. There were no immediate reports of any obvious signs of foul play.

Sofer had been hiking with a friend when they lost contact with each other. A volunteer for United Hatzalah, an emergency response organization, described finding the body in shrubbery, saying in a statement that it “seemed to match the missing student’s description.” Sofer’s family had traveled to Israel to follow the search, the statement said.

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