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December 21, 2014

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Israel finds body where U.S. student disappeared

JERUSALEM — Israeli police said Thursday "there is a strong possibility" they have found the body of an American seminary student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the body was found in the same area where Aharon Sofer disappeared. Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, New Jersey, had been hiking with a friend in a hilly, forested area on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"There is a strong possibility that it is the body of the missing student," Rosenfeld said, stressing that a forensics team was still trying to confirm the identification.

Rosenfeld would not elaborate or say whether there had been any signs of foul play.

Police have been conducting an extensive search for Sofer, an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva — a Jewish religious school named for its founder, Rabbi Tzvi Kaplan. Sofer's parents flew to Israel to assist with the search.

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