Body of missing Israeli woman Shani Gabay found, mayor says: ‘Bitter news’

The body of missing Israeli woman Shani Gabay has been found, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said Tuesday.

“This morning I received bitter news that Shani Gabay’s body was found,” he said in a statement. “My heart and the hearts of townspeople are with her bereaved family.”

Gabay, 37, went missing on Dec. 21, after leaving her Jerusalem home. An extensive search effort launched by Israeli police and the Israel Defense Forces in the Jerusalem area failed to locate her for the last month.

Lion said city officials had done everything possible to find Gabay.

“In the name of the Jerusalem municipality, I express my sorrow over the difficult news,” he said. “We stood alongside the Gabay family and with many volunteers who joined us in the search, and did not spare any effort to find her alive and well.”

Israeli authorities asked the public for information on Gabay’s disappearance shortly after she vanished.

The Jerusalem Post reported that investigators had looked into possible links between the woman’s disappearance and her religious beliefs. Gabay had recently adopted a strictly religious lifestyle and had changed her attire and hairstyle.

Authorities were yet to issue an official statement on Gabay’s death.