Lakewood councilman: Body found in Israel likely that of NJ student Aharon Sofer

Rep. Chris Smith says both U.S. and Israeli

Rep. Chris Smith says both U.S. and Israeli officials are "leaving no stone unturned" as they search for 23-year old Aharon Sofer. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

LAKEWOOD - A Lakewood councilman says the body found in a Jerusalem forest is likely that of a missing New Jersey student. 

Councilman Meir Lichtenstein said at a news conference today that police in Israel believe that they've found the body of Aharon Sofer.

Authorities have been searching for the 23-year-old Lakewood man since he went missing during a hike with a friend in the forest last week. Police say he was somehow separated from his friend.

Lichtenstein says authorities believe that the cause of death was "accidental and not in any way related to foul play." The family believes he was not kidnapped as was originally feared.

Friends say Sofer didn't spend much time outdoors. "From what I'm told from the family, he actually called his mom and asked her permission or if it was a good idea to go out and take a walk in the woods," Lichtenstein says.

Sofer leaves behind his parents and nine siblings. His parents are in Jerusalem and are expected to bury him there. Orthodox Jewish tradition calls for burying loved ones within 24 hours.

More on this topic

Missing Lakewood Student

Fundraising efforts for Aharon Sofer

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Rep. Chris Smith says both U.S. and Israeli Police search for NJ student missing in Jerusalem

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