Police: Body of missing Va. firefighter found at Shenandoah National Park

Virginia State Police say a body found at Shenandoah National Park Thursday afternoon is preliminary believed to be 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff, a northern Virginia firefighter missing since last week.

Authorities said female remains were found in a remote location at around 2 p.m. by a ground team consisting of members of the National Park Service and Virginia State Police more than a mile from the Whiteoak Canyon parking area where Mittendorff's vehicle was found. The area where the body was located is about 330 yards from the trail in treacherous rocky terrain.

The remains are being taken to the medical examiner's office to make a positive identification and for an autopsy.

Police said they did find a suicide note inside her car. Along with other evidence collected during the investigation, police believe there was no foul play in her death.

Mittendorff has been missing since April 13 when she last made contact with her family. Fire officials also said the Woodbridge woman called in sick that day before not showing up to work on Friday.

Federal, state and local authorities have spent days searching for the firefighter and paramedic with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department after her 2009 Mini Cooper was found at the park Saturday night. Virginia State Police said they have received more than 100 tips during their search efforts. Police have said throughout the search that evidence have suggested nothing suspicious about her disappearance.

Nicole's husband, Steve Mittendorff, spoke out Tuesday at the fire station where she worked.

"As you can imagine, the pain of not knowing where a loved one is can be unbearable," said the missing woman's husband, a Virginia State Police trooper.

A Find Nicole Facebook page that has been providing updates on the search for Mittendorff wrote Thursday evening: