Body of missing 19-year-old hiker Emily Sotelo found on New Hampshire mountain
A hiker who disappeared in New Hampshire last weekend has been found dead, law enforcement officials confirmed.
The body of Emily Sotelo, 19, of Westford, Massachusetts, was found around 11am on Wednesday by Fish and Game conservation officers on Mount Lafayette. Her body was removed by the New Hampshire National Guard.
According to Captain Michael Eastman of New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division, the woman’s body was found between Lafayette Brook and the mountain’s summit.
He said she appeared to have died from exposure to the elements after being "blown off the top of the mountain in the high winds and cold temperatures."
According to The Boston Globe, Ms Sotelo was attempting to summit all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000ft mountains before she turned 20. The route she was hiking when she disappeared included Mount Lafayette, Haystack, and Flume.
The woman began the most recent leg of trek on Sunday in Franconia Notch State Park.
Earlier on Wednesday Mr Eastman said rescuers were focusing on recovery rather than rescue, as it was unlikely she could have survived the zero-degree temperatures and 40mph wind for several days, Boston10 reported.
The woman’s family traveled to New Hampshire but did not participate in the search due to the adverse weather conditions, Mr Eastman said.
Searchers began looking for Ms Sotelo late on Sunday after she did not return from her hike. Mr Eastman said as many as 50 search-and-rescue teams joined the effort throughout Monday and Tuesday. The National Guard also deployed a Blackhawk helicopter to search for her, and K9 units were deployed by local law enforcement in an attempt to track her down.
Ms Sotelo was a sophomore at Vanderbilt University where she was majoring in biochemistry and chemical biology.