Emily Sotelo: Missing Massachusetts hiker's body found in New Hampshire mountains

Emily Sotelo, 19, planned to hike Mount Lafayette, Mount Haystack and Mount Flume, with lots of experience in hiking from the past

Emily Sotelo: Missing Massachusetts hiker's body found in New Hampshire mountains
Emily Sotelo, a Massachusetts hiker, had disappeared after going for a hike on November 20 (Emily Sotelo/Facebook)
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FRANCONIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Emily Sotelo, 19, who went missing on a weekend hike in New Hampshire's White Mountains, has been found dead. The search and rescue team found her body just after 11 am on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette in Franconia on Wednesday, November 23. The resident of Westford was dropped off by her mother on Sunday morning, November 20 at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia. She planned to hike Mount Lafayette, Mount Haystack, and Mount Flume, with lots of experience in hiking from the past but hadn’t done much during winters as per her family.

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A New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter assisted with the recovery of Sotelo's body, as per officials. Earlier, Fish and Game Captain Michael Eastman said, "It certainly can be done in a day. A hiker in good shape can probably do it in no time in summer conditions, but the conditions we had yesterday — high winds, temperatures, varied conditions — you have, in the higher elevations, snow up to your chest," Eastman added. The officials had been told that Sotelo was 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighs 115 pounds. The Hampshire Fish and Game authorities said that Sotelo was last spotted wearing a brown jacket, low-cut hiking sneakers, and exercise pants.

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The officials also told that she was wearing long johns. "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,” added Azorian. 

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The officials confirmed that she was dropped off just before 5 am on Sunday, by her mother at the trailhead. The search team on the ground and in the air crisscrossed the area throughout Monday and continued on the next day, with New England K-9 Search and Rescue also helping out on Tuesday morning, November 19. "Our dogs are air scent dogs, so they are looking for generic human scent," said Donna Larson of New England K-9 Search and Rescue. "They do know the difference between if there was a hunter or hiker out there. They can tell the difference out there looking for that person that's out of place," Larson added, according to the Daily Mail.

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"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," added Stewart. The Ground crews were carrying GPS trackers that enable Fish and Game officers to monitor exactly which parts of the trails have been searched already, as per WCVB5.

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