BRECKSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has positively identified the body found on Thursday night in Cuyahoga Valley National Park as Hillary Sharma. A cause of death is pending.
The body was found in the Cuyahoga River by the Highland Road bridge around 6 p.m., after two Rangers came across it during their daily search for her.
"We had two law enforcement Rangers on foot and they were off trail along the Cuyahoga River, north of this location, which is the Highland Road bridge, and they were, again, off trail, went down by the river and discovered a body," said Mary Pat Doorley, spokesperson for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Sharma was last seen on Aug. 19. Her vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Boston Store Visitor Center for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Aug. 22 after Eastlake Police issued an alert reporting her missing. Since then, crews have scoured the 33,000-acre park for her, finding some of her belongings, which helped narrow down the search.
Many participating agencies and response teams assisted with search dogs, horse patrol, boats on the Cuyahoga River, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
The investigation has not revealed anything which leads the park to believe visitors are at any increased risk.
The National Park Service offers sincere condolences to Sharma's family and friends. The agency also wishes to thank the many organizations and individuals who provided assistance in the search.
Best friend Carrie Kope says Sharma loved 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 was enrolled in a graphic arts class. She was 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.
Friends say she was an adventurous soul, loving nature and photography.
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