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Missing American’s Body Found by United Hatzalah Volunteers Using GPS

Aharon Sofer

An extensive six- day manhunt for a missing American Yeshiva student came to an end at 5 PM Thursday, when a United Hatzalah volunteer located a young man’s body thought to match the description of Aharon Sofer, in the shrubbery in the Ein Kerem neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Police and emergency service organizations have been searching for the New Jersey native since a distress call was received by the United Hatzalah dispatch on Friday, August 22.

Yisrael Erlich, a United Hatzalah volunteer, among the first at the scene, described the turn of events: “I joined a large group of United Hatzalah volunteers that combed the area of Ein Kerem by foot, using the organization’s GPS system to monitor our exact location. Soon after beginning our search we came across a man’s body among the shrubbery that seemed to match the missing student’s description. We immediately notified the police via our phone app and a large group of police and rapid-responders quickly appeared on the scene. I was not expecting the incident to end in such a horrific tragedy.”

The family of Aharon Sofer, who have come over from New Jersey, waited at the United Hatzalah headquarters in Jerusalem for word from the police regarding the identification of the body.

Eli Beer, head of the organization, thanked the hundreds of volunteers who left their homes and jobs to join the search for Aharon Sofer, working around the clock since last Friday.

He commented: “We are very sorry about the tragic ending of the story, we were hoping and praying for a positive end.”

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