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Israel identifies body as missing American student

  • Missing-Yeshiva-Student

    A photograph of Aaron Sofer, 23, is nearby as people listen during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Lakewood, N.J. Israeli police said Tuesday they are searching for the young New Jersey religious student who went missing during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week. Sofer of Lakewood, New Jersey, has been missing since Friday when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld said that police have launched an extensive search for Sofer, who is an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva — a Jewish religious school. Sofer's parents have flown to Israel. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Missing-Yeshiva-Student-1

    New York assemblyman Dov Hikind addresses a gathering as he stands near a photograph of Aaron Sofer, 23, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Lakewood, N.J. Israeli police said Tuesday they are searching for the young New Jersey religious student who went missing in Israel during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week. Sofer of Lakewood, New Jersey, has been missing since Friday when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM — Israeli forensic investigators today identified a recently found body as that of a U.S. religious student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week, Israeli police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the body was confirmed early today to be that of seminary student Aharon Sofer.

“There is no suspicion of foul play,” said Samri, meaning Sofer’s death was not a militant attack or a criminal attack. She had no further details on how he died.

The body was found on Thursday night in the same area where Sofer disappeared last week. The 23-year-old Sofer, of Lakewood, New Jersey, had been hiking with a friend in a hilly, forested area on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Sofer was an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school, named for its founder Rabbi Tzvi Kaplan.

Sofer’s parents had flown to Israel to assist with the search.

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