Missing Hiker Found Dead in New Hampshire

Emily Sotelo's body was found on what would have been her 20th birthday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2022 1:25 PM CST
Missing Hiker Found Dead in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division released this photo of Emily Sotelo.   (NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division)

The search for a missing hiker in New Hampshire's White Mountains came to a tragic end Wednesday when Emily Sotelo was found dead on what would have been her 20th birthday. The body of the Vanderbilt University student was found on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division said in a statement, per NBC. Family members reported Sotelo missing Sunday night after she failed to return from a planned solo hike including Mount Lafayette, Mount Haystack, and Mount Flume. Officials say Sotelo, whose mother dropped her off at a campground Sunday morning, was not dressed for the bitter cold and winds she encountered, reports WGME.

The weather also hampered the search and rescue effort, which was assisted by the New Hampshire National Guard. Authorities say Sotelo's body was found after tracks and some items belonging to her were found at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook, WMUR reports. Authorities said trails in the area can be treacherous at this time of year. "The biggest lessons learned in a tragedy like this is when you're hiking in New Hampshire, especially in the White Mountains, be prepared for the unexpected," said Fish and Game Maj. David Walsh. "Be prepared with knowledge. Know the weather conditions. Dress for the weather conditions. Have extra clothes. Have extra food, water. Have a headlamp map, a compass." (Read more New Hampshire stories.)

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