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Days into search 20-year-old hiker is found dead in New Hampshire

ABC News
ABC News
 11 days ago

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A Massachusetts hiker, who had gone missing after departing on a solo hike over the weekend, was found dead in New Hampshire on Wednesday, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division and Operation Game Thief.

Emily Sotelo, 20, was found on northwest side of Mount Lafayette, in Franconia after departing on a hike of Franconia Ridge on Sunday morning.

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A family member had reported Sotelo missing when she did not return at a planned time.

Sotelo was dropped off at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia, New Hampshire on Sunday morning. She planned to hike Mount Lafayette, Haystack and Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, according to law enforcement.

Three search teams were sent out to look for her on Sunday night, but temperatures along the ridge where she was hiking were about zero degrees with 30 to 40 mph winds, according to Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, which helped with the search efforts.

"Due to the harsh weather conditions a search commenced Sunday evening and [through] the night. Searchers were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow," New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division and Operation Game Thief said in a statement Wednesday.

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Searchers spent two days looking for Sotelo before finding tracks and some of her belongings at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook on Tuesday. Her body was found Wednesday morning.

A New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter was able to help with the extradition of Sotelo to the Cannon Mountain Ski Area, according to law enforcement. Officials did not release any information regarding Sotelo's cause of death.

Comments / 1181

Timothy Jett
11d ago

This is sad!But can somebody tell me why hikers insist on hiking alone in any weather?I know it's sometimes beautiful to be alone,and peaceful,but dang almost all hikers that get reported missing turn up being found dead!There's no cause of death,only one can wonder!But if she was using the buddy system or some kind of communication this might not of happened and she could've still enjoyed a great,and peaceful hike!Anything could've happened to her out there!Which keeps the mind wondering...WHY!Many people hike alone and are so-called survivalist but...the greatest survivalist can end up dead when hiking alone!People need to stop hiking,walking,jogging or traveling alone nowadays!There's so many things,people and situations out there that will KILL you with no hesitation!Sorry For The Loss Of Life 😔

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Damn straight!
11d ago

As a fellow hiker and preferred soloist.... my deepest condolences to the family. For thoe wanting to do the same.... start with small trips and good weather....

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John Gardner
11d ago

can I ask the question why you never go hiking unprepared always carry a pack with warm clothes and something to start a fire and especially the weather in the white mountains of New Hampshire or Maine this time of year I'm sorry but being dropped off alone number one rule never go alone unprepared

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