Emily Sotelo: Search on for missing hiker, 19, who disappeared on New Hampshire trail in freezing -30°F weather
Sotelo was last seen when she was dropped off by her mother at a trailhead leading to Mount Lafayette, Haystack, and Flume in Franconia, New Hampshire
FRANCONIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE: A Massachusetts teenager has gone missing in frigid cold weather after she went hiking on Sunday, November 18, 2022, in New Hampshire. Emily Sotelo, 19, was set to hike to three mountains and was dropped off by her mother at a trailhead leading to Mount Lafayette, Haystack, and Flume in Franconia, New Hampshire.
Sotelo, according to her mother, is an experienced hiker overall but does not have much experience with winter hiking. Her mother also noted that she was not dressed for the freezing temperature that quickly dropped after her departure. Temperatures dropped to 'about zero', with windspeeds making the chill factor -30 degrees Fahrenheit, officials with the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team reported.
According to the Daily Mail, officials claim three to 18 search teams are looking for the missing hiker. "Her mother watched her start hiking up the trail, so we know that," said Charlie Stewart of the Pemi Valley Search and Rescue. "We departed from that area, and we have an idea what her itinerary was." "For us, we're doing drainages. We're going up the rivers and streams that come down," said Stewart. The National Guard has also brought in a helicopter to locate the 19-year-old. Mount Lafayette's trail has a 'difficult' rating and goes as high as 5,260 feet, according to 4000Footers.com.
The mountain is also part of a loop that spans several miles and summits Mount Lincoln and Little Haystack Mountain, which Emily was expected to hike. Stewart also added that Sotelo had not been dressed for the cold weather. "She was wearing sneakers and potentially some wind pants, not really ready for what the temperatures are right now," he said. Sotelo is going to turn 20 in a day her mother Emily said, adding, she was wearing a brown jacket, exercise pants, and sneakers
Sotelo has been described as 5’3 tall and weighing 115 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. Fellow hikers are also desperately searching for the girl. "From what they say, I'm going to be taking pretty much the same route that she was planning to take," said hiker Andrew Azorian, of Merrimack. "So, I'm definitely going to keep my eyes out and be vigilant," Azorian added. Pemi Valley Search officials claim that they plan to continue searching all day and into the night if needed.
Anyone who has information or who might have seen Sotelo is being asked to call the New Hampshire Fish and Game at 603-271-3361.