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Cousin of 'Bold and the Beautiful' star Rena Sofer found dead in Israel

Rena Sofer's cousin, Aaron Sofer, was found dead in Israel, possibly the victim of an abduction
Rena Sofer's cousin, Aaron Sofer, was found dead in Israel, possibly the victim of an abductionPhoto by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

On Wed., Aug 27, Rena Sofer, who plays Quinn on the CBS soap "The Bold and the Beautiful," Tweeted a desperate request for prayers for the safe return of her cousin, Aaron Sofer, who went missing in the Jerusalem Forest in Israel while hiking with a friend last Friday. The first suspicion was Aaron had been abducted in the conflict-torn area of the world.

"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs in Riverside on CBS K-CAL 9.

Sofer Tweeted, "Please everyone pray for my cousin Aaron Sofer to be brought home safe and sound." A few minutes later, she posted, "Aaron Sofer was abducted in the woods in Israel. Please Israel keep looking for him. Bring my cousin home!!"

Aaron Sofer's parents flew to Israel as soon as their son was reported missing and had offered a $28,000 reward for any information leading to his whereabouts. The distraught parents made a video, pleading for the safe return of their son. “Please, please, please, I beg of you, beg you, please, if anyone sees any whereabouts of Aaron, please call the police immediately,” sobbed Aaron's mother Chulda Sofer.

Sadly today, Aug. 28, any hope of his safe return were dashed as news outlets reported rescue teams had discovered a body believed to be that of Aaron Sofer, the 23-year-old student from New Jersey. The young man was found in a shallow ditch with his hat and glasses nearby.

Rena Sofer shared the sad news via Twitter on Thursday, stating "thank you all for your prayers. Aaron's body was found today. No foul play thank G-D. He had a tragic fall in the mountains. G-D bless him."

While Sofer says there is no foul play, the New York Daily News reports that Israeli police are still investigating the possibility that Sofer may have been abducted by the Hamas terrorist group. Just two months ago, three teens were kidnapped and murdered from the same area. The deaths of Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, both 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach were initially denied by Hamas, but last week, leader Saleh Arouri admitted to the killing of the teens in what he referred to as an "heroic operation."

Police have reportedly questioned Sofer's friend and hiking partner, whose name has not yet been released. Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, states Aaron and his friend were separated going down a steep incline in the Jerusalem Forest. When Aaron didn't return for dinner, his friend called police. Why Sofer's friend left the area without him has yet to be reported.

Whether Aaron Sofer's death turns out to be a tragic accident or linked to a terrorist organization, there is no doubt fans and friends of Rena Sofer have flooded her Twitter with an outpouring of love and prayers for the loss of her cousin. Any updates on the circumstances surrounding Aaron Sofer's death will be reported here as they occur.