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Body Found at Shenandoah National Park Believed to Be Missing University of Virginia Lecturer

·2-min read
Julia Christine Devlin
Julia Christine Devlin

Shenandoah National Park Service Julia Christine Devlin

Authorities believe they have found the body of a missing University of Virginia (UVA) economics lecturer, who disappeared after her car was wrecked in Shenandoah National Park.

Park officials announced in a press release on Saturday that they had found a female body at 10 a.m. in an "extremely steep and rough terrain in the southernmost part of the park."

Based on a preliminary identification of the remains, authorities said they believe the body belongs to 55-year-old Julia Christine Devlin, who was last seen close to two weeks ago on July 14.

The body is now being transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Augusta County for "positive ID and determination of [the] cause of death," according to park officials.

A spokesperson for the park tells PEOPLE that the remains were found about 600 meters from Devlin's car, and that after the vehicle was wrecked, she crossed Skyline Drive and headed to the other side of a cliff face.

The search for Devlin, conducted by Shenandoah National Park with support from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Albemarle Sheriff's Department, the FBI, and the NPS Investigative Services Branch, has since been suspended, the press release said.

Julia Christine Devlin
Julia Christine Devlin

Shenandoah National Park Service

RELATED: University of Virginia Lecturer Is Missing After Car Wreck at Shenandoah National Park

As PEOPLE previously reported, Devlin was last spotted on security footage when her white Lexus sedan entered Shenandoah National Park in Charlottesville on July 14.

Park officials said her her vehicle was found wrecked and abandoned in the southern part of the park three days later, prompting an investigation.

Following her disappearance, a close friend of Devlin's called the situation "heartbreaking" and said Devlin would never vanish or go this long without contacting her mother or her sister, according to ABC affiliate WHSV.

RELATED VIDEO: Body Found at Grand Canyon May Be Missing LA Woman

Brian Coy, a spokesperson for UVA, also issued a statement to NBC affiliate WVIR, saying the university was hoping for her safe return and urging anyone with information to contact authorities.

Since the discovery, Coy has not publicly commented on the matter. He did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

At this time, it is unclear what caused Devlin's disappearance, or if foul play was a factor. An investigation into her death is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Medical Examiner in Augusta County did not return PEOPLE's request for comment.

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