Prayer vigil held for missing Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff

FOX 5's Marina Marraco reports.

- A prayer vigil was held Monday evening for a missing 31-year-old woman from Woodbridge, Virginia. Nicole Mittendorff worshipped at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge and friends and family there prayed for her safe return.

Mittendorff was reported missing Friday and her car was discovered Saturday evening at Shenandoah National Park. Monday's search for the firefighter-paramedic with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue was concentrated in the region of White Oak Canyon Trail where her vehicle was discovered. But so far, where Mittendorff is remains a mystery.

This all started on Friday when Virginia State Police received a report that the missing 31-year-old was reported missing. Mittendorff is described as a 5'6" white female with blond hair and green eyes, weighing about 125 pounds. Her family said the last time they heard from her was last Wednesday. She is a three-year veteran of the fire department.

Mittendorff shared a home with her husband, who is a Virginia State Police sergeant. He attended Monday night's prayer service along with his wife's family.

Neighbors said she was a friendly face in a neighborhood where people don’t often talk to each other. They said they are desperate for her to be found.

"It's very shocking," said Maria Sanchez, one of Mittendorff's neighbors. "She strikes me as a really good person. I'd go out where she would be with her dogs. We would talk, I'd ask her how she was doing, I never got a negative reaction from her."

Another neighbor described Mittendorff and her husband as very nice people, and that she doesn’t seem like the kind of person that would just take off.

"The stress of that job are really, really difficult, and sometimes she likes to get away and to run and challenge herself to get away from that stress," said Gabriel Smith, a friend of Mittendorff at church. "We're hoping that she is just there somewhere needing our help now, and that's what we feel -- the only thing we can feel. There was no indication that we know that Nicole was sad or needed to get away."

“I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has viewed, liked, and shared this page dedicated to finding my wife,” Nicole’s husband, Steven Mittendorff, wrote on Facebook. “I am overwhelmed by the number of calls, texts, and social media messages that I have received, but have not been able to answer.”

The Virginia State Police has asked anyone with information about the missing woman to call 703-803-0026 or email information to

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