NASHVILLE — The body of a missing 20-year-old Vanderbilt University student has been found after she went missing in White Mountain National Forest while hiking in New Hampshire, officials said.
Emily Sotelo was dropped off Sunday morning at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia, according to a statement from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. She intended to hike a route that included Mount Lafayette, Haystack and Flume.
Sotelo’s body was discovered around 11 a.m. ET Wednesday on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette in the town which is in the northeast part of the state.
The woman’s cause of death was not immediately known.
The statement said the crews searched in difficult conditions from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning, but efforts were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow. Wind chill in the region was well below freezing this week, and particularly freezing at high altitudes.
Researchers found traces and items belonging to Sotelo at the source of Lafayette Creek before his body was discovered. An Army National Guard helicopter helped bring it to Cannon Mountain Ski Area.
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A Vanderbilt University spokesperson said Sotelo was a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and chemical biology. She was originally from Westford, Massachusetts.
The search was a multi-agency effort that involved multiple groups, the statement said, and included the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team; the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team; Mountain rescue service; search and rescue in the Lake District; the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team; New England K-9; the New Hampshire Army National Guard; civil air patrol; and White Mountain National Forest.