NASHVILLE –The body of a missing 20-year-old Vanderbilt University student has been found after she disappeared in White Mountain National Forest during a hike in New Hampshire, officials said.
Emily Sotelo was dropped off on Sunday morning at the Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia, according to a New Hampshire Fish and Game Department release. She intended to hike a route that included Mount Lafayette, Haystack and Flume.
Sotelo’s body was discovered about 11 a.m. ET Wednesday on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette in the town that rests in the northeastern portion of the state.
The woman’s cause of death was not immediately known.
According to the release, crews searched amid harsh conditions Sunday night through Wednesday morning, but efforts were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow. Wind chills in the area were well below zero this week, and especially frigid in higher elevations.
Searchers found tracks and items that belonged to Sotelo at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook before her body was discovered. An Army National Guard helicopter helped bring her to the 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 a native of Westford, Massachusetts.
The search was a multi-agency effort that involved several groups, the release said, and included the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team; the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team; Mountain Rescue Service; Lakes Region Search and Rescue; the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team; New England K-9; the New Hampshire Army National Guard; Civil Air Patrol; and the White Mountain National Forest.