Missing firefighter described as well-liked high-achiever

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The fire chief in a suburb of the nation's capital says a paramedic-firefighter missing for nearly a week is a high-achiever who is well-liked by her colleagues.

Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers said at a news conference Tuesday that 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff always put others first. He asked for the public's help as about 100 searchers scoured the rugged terrain of the Shenandoah National Park, where Mittendorff's car was found Saturday. Family members have said she is an avid runner and tri-athlete who might have been training in the park.

A park spokeswoman says the search area encompasses about 10 square miles of the 300-square-mile park. About 4½ miles of five trails are closed for the search.

Mittendorff last had contact by text message with her family on Wednesday.

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