Fire Captain Dave Hall said Nicole Mittendorff, a firefighter in Virginia, called in sick to work on April 13 before disappearing, the same day her family last heard from her. Mittendorff last contacted her family by text message on April 13.
“The next day, there was no phone call made,” Hall said in a press conference uploaded to the Fairfax firefighter’s Facebook page.
Mittendorff’s car, a cream with a black top 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman with Virginia plates (WLT-1843), was found in the Shenandoah National Park by a U.S. park ranger in the parking area of the Whiteoak Canyon Trail on April 17.
About 100 searchers combed the area. A spokesperson from the park said the search area is about 10 square miles of the 300-square-mile park. About 4.5 of the 5 trials have been closed off for the search.
Mittendorff, 31, was said to be a high-achiever and was well-liked by her colleagues. Fairfax Firefighters Chief Richard Bowers said Mittendorff always put others first.
“Nicole if you can hear us, reach out to us, give us a call,” Captain Hall said to NBC4. “Your home is still here. We’re waiting for you.”
In a Facebook page created to help with the search of the firefighter, her family said Mittendorff’s cellphone provider has been cooperating with authorities.
Mittendorff, a career firefighter and paramedic, is married to Virginia State Police sergeant, Steve Mittendorff.
“As you can imagine, the pain of not knowing where a loved one is can be unbearable,” her husband said through tears, reported NBC 4.
Authorities asked for the public’s help for any information leading to Mittendorff.
“This is our 911 call to the public,” said Chief Bowers said. “You never know. The smallest thing can help bring Nicole home.”
An online vigil has been planned for the night of April 20 on the Find Nicole Now Facebook page.
If anyone has any information regarding Nicole’s disappearance, please call 703-803-0026.