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Fairfax County Firefighter called in sick before she went missing, officials say

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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – The search for missing Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff continued Wednesday with new information about the hours before she went missing.

At a Wednesday morning press conference, Fire Chief Richard Bowers said the 31-year-old firefighter called in sick before she went missing.

Mittendorff last had contact with her family on Wednesday, April 13.

She was reported missing to Virginia State Police on Friday, April 15. Her car, a 2009 Mini Cooper, was found abandoned in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday night.

Nicole Mittendorff

Nicole Mittendorff

Family and friends said Mittendorff would often go to the Shenandoah National Park to train for sporting events.

"We remain hopeful and we continue to pray for Nicole and her family," Bowers said.

Virginia State Police said they are still in the process of establishing a timeline of Mittendorff’s movements from the last time she was in contact with family through when her car was located.

They said physical and digital evidence collected during the process of the case have been critical in focusing and conducting the search operations within the park.

Virginia State Police updated the search Wednesday saying the evidence still suggests nothing suspicious about her disappearance. Police said they have received more than 100 tips from the public regarding Mittendorff’s disappearance.

Nicole Mittendorff

Nicole Mittendorff

Search efforts resumed on land and by air Wednesday near Shenandoah National Park. Search efforts will resume Thursday at daybreak.

A Facebook page called Find Nicole has been started to aid in the search of Mittendorff.

State police are still encouraging anyone with information about Nicole or may recall seeing someone fitting her description at/near/in the Shenandoah Park within the past week, to please contact the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell or 911 or by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov.