BRECKSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - Around 6 p.m. Thursday, the National Park Service and several assisting agencies recovered a body in the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. On Friday, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner identified the body as missing woman Hillary Sharma.
The body was found by the Highland Road bridge, about 200 yards from the entrance to Brandywine Falls.
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner was called to the scene. A cause of death is pending.
Initially, Parks Service said Rangers in kayaks found the body while searching for missing woman Hillary Sharma, but Rangers were on foot in heavy brush, then found the body in the water.
Sharma was last seen on Aug. 19. Her vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Visitors Center for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Aug. 22. Since then, crews have scoured the park for her, finding some of her belongings.
"She's my best friend. She's my sidekick. We do everything together," said Carrie Kope.
The last time Kope saw her best friend was 10 days ago -- the last time anyone saw Sharma.
"She's a beautiful person. She's a creative person. She's completely selfless," said Kope.
Kope says Sharma loves the park's scenery.
"She liked to take pictures. That's how she cleared her head," said Kope.
Sharma had recently completed a photography course at Lakeland Community College and is enrolled in a graphic arts class. She's a graphic artist at Steve's Sports in Bedford Heights.
"She likes to laugh. She likes to joke. She's a big ray of sunshine in a lot of people's lives," said Kope.
Stay with 19 Action News for more on this developing story.
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