A search team composed of NPS and VSP personnel found the body about 330 yards from the trail in “treacherous, rocky terrain”.
After her body was recovered, Virginia state police revealed that a note was found in the vehicle, but police chose not to disclose that fact while still searching for the 31-year-old Mittendorff, of Woodbridge.
Nicole’s husband Steve Mittendorff, an officer with the Virginia State Police, pleaded for her return on Tuesday.
For days, search crews combed the Shenandoah National Park looking for her. It was called off after the remains were found. Police did not say what information was contained in the note. According to her family, they last heard from her via text message last week on Wednesday. A Facebook page dedicated to her disappearance noted that Mittendorff “likes to compete in multi-sport events such as triathlons and regularly runs half marathons [and] can often be found riding and running on trails”.
Mittendorff’s auto was found in the parking area Saturday, a day after she was reported missing when she didn’t show up for her job with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
“I’m heartbroken…it was not the outcome we hoped for”, Robert Clardy, Nicole’s father, told Dateline. Thank you to those who took time away from their own families to let us be with ours.
There are now allegations that those posts were written by Mittendorff’s fellow co-workers at the fire department.
Mittendorf is a firefighter in Fairfax County.
A picture of Mittendorff in her firefighter’s uniform was also displayed outside the fire station along with a bouquet of flowers.