Sofer is from Lakewood, which has a large Orthodox Jewish population. Earlier this week, Sofer’s parents offered a reward for his return in a video posted to social media. The family also demanded the IDF get involved. The New York Daily News reported Hamas militants were suspected, though there was no concrete evidence to a link.
Sofer’s parents had traveled to Jerusalem and had planned a prayer vigil and press conference at the Western Wall later today.
Sofer and a friend were separated on that Friday hike in Jerusalem near the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial. The friend assumed Sofer had returned home on his own, but notified police once Sofer did not turn up at shabbat services that evening.