Missing Virginia Firefighter Nicole Mittendorff Called in Sick Before Disappearance, Fire Official Says

What to Know

  • Nicole Mittendorff, 31, was reported missing to police Friday.
  • A U.S. Park ranger found her 2009 Mini Cooper Saturday evening.
  • Mittendorff is a career firefighter and paramedic for the Fairfax County Fire Department. Her husband is a Virginia State Police employee.

A missing Fairfax County paramedic-firefighter called out of work two days before she was reported missing to police, a fire official said.

Nicole Mittendorff, 31, called in sick before her shift on April 13 -- the same day her family last heard from her, Fairfax County Fire Captain Dave Hall said. While Hall would not specify what time Mittendorff called in, he said standard procedure is that a call be placed before 5 a.m.

"The next day, there was no phone call made. From there, the phone calls started happening," Hall said.

Mittendorff was reported missing to police April 15. A U.S. Park ranger found her 2009 Mini Cooper the next day in a parking lot in Shenandoah National Park.

"Nicole, if you can hear us, reach out to us, give us a call," Hall said. "Your home is still here. We're waiting for you."

Mittendorff's family said her wireless carrier is cooperating with investigators and sending any information that may be on her cellphone.


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"As you can imagine, the pain of not knowing where a loved one is can be unbearable," Mittendorff's husband, Steve Mittendorff, said through tears.

Nicole Mittendorff is an avid runner and triathlete, and her family said she may have been training on a trail near where her car was found, the Associated Press reported.

The search has focused on the area around the White Oak Canyon trail in Madison County. Trails were closed in the area Tuesday. So far, search parties on the ground and in the air have found nothing.

This weekend, 30 trained Fairfax County Fire and Rescue search personnel will conduct a search over a wide area in the park. Fairfax County Fire officials said Thursday the National Park Service had asked for their help.

Fire officials urged the public to call Virginia State Police if they have any information on Mittendorff's whereabouts. 

"This is our 911 call to the public," Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers Jr. said. "You never know. The smallest thing can help bring Nicole home."

Mittendorff is a career firefighter and paramedic for the Fairfax County Fire Department. Her husband is a Virginia State Police sergeant.

Her gear in a locker at Fairfax Station's fire station has not been touched for more than a week.

There is currently no evidence to suggest anything suspicious about Mittendorff's disappearance, state police said.

A prayer vigil was held Wednesday evening at Fairview Station 32, Mittendorff's station, in Fairfax Station, Virginia. That day marked a week since Nicole had been seen.

Her family created a Facebook page and a website to help find her.

Mittendorff is described as a white woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She is 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds.

Anyone with information that can help police is asked to call Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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