The Massachusetts hiker who went missing on a popular New Hampshire mountain trail was discovered dead Wednesday morning.
The body of Emily Sotelo, 20, was discovered after a three-day search in which rescuers battled bone-chilling temperatures and high winds, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division.
Sotelo went on the hike along Franconia Ridge by herself on Sunday and never returned, according to officials.
A family member reported her missing, and New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement launched a search that evening.
According to officials, multiple agencies discovered Sotelo’s tracks and items Tuesday near the headwaters of Lafayette Brook.
Her body was found at 11:15 a.m. on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette and then was moved by a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter to the Cannon Mountain Ski Area, NH Fish and Game said.
She was dropped off Sunday morning at the Lafayette Place Campground, officials originally said.
Sotelo was a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, where she majored in biochemistry and chemical biology, according to a college spokesperson.
The Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, which was involved in the effort, said in a Monday update that more than 60 ground searchers were combing the area with the assistance of helicopters when the weather permitted.
“The biggest lessons learned in a tragedy like this is when you’re hiking in New Hampshire, especially in the White Mountains, be prepared for the unexpected,” said Fish and Game Maj. David Walsh, according to WMUR.
“Be prepared with knowledge. Know the weather conditions. Dress for the weather conditions. Have extra clothes. Have extra food, water. Have a headlamp map, a compass.”
An official cause of death was not reported Wednesday.