Police and firefighters in Fairfax, Virginia gathered Tuesday at the fire department to announce increased efforts — and to request for tips from the public — in their search for missing firefighter-paramedic Nicole Mittendorff. Her family joined in the public call for help.
Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge was reported missing Friday morning when she didn't arrive for work at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. An intensive rescue effort involving approximately 100 federal, state and volunteer search-and-rescue teams have been combing the Shenandoah National Forest, according to officials, with no success.
Her husband, Steve Mittendorf, pleaded for his wife's safe return during the press conference, held at the fire department. According to her family, they last heard from her via text message last week on Wednesday.
"Sweetheart I love you. I am praying for you," said Mittendorf, appearing to restrain tears. "I'm not sure where you are, but know we are all looking for you and I look forward to your safe return."
The search is concentrated around White Oak Canyon Trail, where Nicole's 2009 Mini Cooper was found Saturday evening. There is still no evidence to indicate foul play, according to police. They are asking the public to call 911 with any possible tips. The family is providing updates and asking for more information through a website, Find-Nicole.com.
"Very motivated, very dedicated firefighter paramedic," Fairfax fire chief Richard R. Bowers Jr. said. "Always happy, always wanting to help people, and she fit right into the fire and rescue department."