Update Thursday 10:45 am
Jerusalem – The body of Aron Sofer, the 23 year old yeshiva bochur who went missing on Friday, has been found in the Jerusalem Forest in Ein Kerem.
VIN News has confirmed that Sofer’s body was located by United Hatzolah volunteers who were among the many that took part in the massive search for the missing Lakewood resident.
“We were going through a completely new area that we hadn’t searched before,” Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzolah told VIN News. “This was east, towards Ein Kerem a few miles away. After about two hours of searching one of our volunteers found him near a tree and he called for help.
Other volunteers came and they saw he wasn’t alive, hadn’t been alive for a while.
While initial reports said that Sofer’s body shows no signs of violence, Beer said that no details were being released at this time.
Police, Hatzolah and Zaka are all on scene at the location where Sofer’s body was found.
Baruch Dayan Haemes.
Jerusalem – As Jews worldwide daven for the safe return of Aron Sofer, Israeli officials continue their full scale search for the missing 23 year old yeshiva student.
Sofer’s parents, Rabbi Menashe Tzvi and Chulda Sofer, met with Jerusalem’s chief of police today to discuss the massive search operation.
“There is a lot more involved here than anyone can imagine,” Yanky Meyer of Misaskim, who traveled from New York to Jerusalem to assist in the search, told VIN News. “The army is involved here, the Shin Bet – there are teams here from all parts of the country looking at all the options, from getting lost in the woods to the very worst. They are not leaving any stone unturned.”
According to Meyer, Israeli officials have been tapping sources that are well embedded in Arab villages but so far their efforts have been fruitless.
A video released today by Israeli police show Sofer getting on and off the train last Friday on his way to the Jerusalem Forest where he disappeared. It was the last official sighting of the Lakewood resident who is currently studying at Yeshivas Kodshim, Rabbi Tzvi Kaplan’s yeshiva.
A video released by Israeli police show Sofer getting on and off the train last Friday
“There are no solid leads to go on here,” said Meyer. “There have been undercover police officers going to shuls all over the country, from as far away as Tzefas and Ashdod, looking for him.”
Sofer’s parents made an emotional plea for their son’s safe return yesterday, announcing a reward of 100,000 NIS, as previously reported on VIN News.
A crowdfunding campaign launched at the request of the Sofer family through Chesed of Lakewood has raised over $38,000 since Tuesday morning.
“We met with the family and they didn’t know how they were going to raise the money they needed,” said Aaron Klein, a volunteer at Chesed of Lakewood. “All money raised will be going directly to the Sofer family, for reward money and for search expenses included printing and hanging posters, bussing volunteers to search sites and possibly hiring private investigators.”
One source who wished to remain anonymous described Sofer as a “very eidel boy” and said that fifty bochurim left the yeshiva during first seder today, the first day of the new zman, to continue the search for Sofer.
“We are all hoping and praying,” said Meyer. “I don’t believe his parents will be getting any sleep tonight.”