Hiker, 20, missing in sub-zero temperatures 2 days after solo hike
A 20-year-old hiker has not been seen for more than two days in freezing temperatures after she disappeared while hiking and did not return from her route.
Emily Sotelo was dropped off Sunday morning at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia, New Hampshire, with plans to hike Mount Lafayette, Haystack and Flume in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, according to a post on the social media by New Hampshire Fish and Game. Law Enforcement Division and the anti-poaching program Operation Game Thief.
“Sotelo is pictured at 5’3, 115 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes,” officials said. “She was last seen wearing a brown jacket and sweatpants.”
Three search parties were dispatched on Sunday night when Sotelo failed to make his scheduled return. but the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, which coordinated the initial search and rescue efforts, said in a statement that the “temperature along the ridge [where she was hiking was] about zero, [and] Winds of 30 to 40 mph [made] the chill factor -30” degrees. The elevation of the mountain range is over 5,000 feet in its highest parts.
As of Monday evening, Sotelo had still not been found and the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team said in a statement that there were “over 60 searchers on the ground, plus air support and command incidents, representing several government agencies and NH SAR teams”.
“[We] I wish I had good news to report, but there is no news,” the team added. “The missing hiker has not been located as of 5:00 p.m. EST…we’ll all be back tomorrow.”
New Hampshire conservation officers are also seeking the public’s help in locating Sotelo. Any hikers who may have encountered her along the planned route should notify the New Hampshire State Police dispatch at (603) 271-1170.