Breaking News
More () »

Missing hiker found dead on Franconia Ridge

Her body was found at about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette.

PORTLAND, Maine — A woman from Westford, Massachusetts, who did not return from her hike along the Franconia Ridge, has been found dead. 

Emily Sotelo, 19, went on a solo hike along Franconia Ridge on Saturday, Nov. 19. Her hiking route included Mount Lafayette, Haystack, and Flume. 

Wednesday would have been her 20th birthday, according to the Associated Press. 

According to a news release issued Monday by the New Hampshire Fish and Game, higher elevation temperatures that day were near zero, with 30 to 40 mph winds bringing the wind chill factor in the range of 30 degrees below zero along the route.  

The AP also reported Wednesday that Sotelo was nearing the end of her goal to hike all 48 peaks in New Hampshire over 4,000 feet elevation before she turned 20 but was not prepared for winter hiking, wearing just a "light jacket, hiking sneakers, and exercise pants over long underwear." 

A family member notified NH Fish and Game when she did not return, and searchers began looking for Sotelo on Sunday, facing "high winds, cold temperatures, and blowing snow," according to a news release the department issued Wednesday afternoon. 

Items believed to be Sotelo's were found Tuesday along the headwaters of Lafayette Brook, which is where searchers focused their efforts on Wednesday, the release stated. 

Her body was found at about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette, and a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter helped relocate the body from the discovery site to the Cannon Mountain Ski Area, according to the release. 

NH Fish and Game was aided in the search by Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, Mountain Rescue Service, Lakes Region Search and Rescue, Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, New England K-9 Search and Rescue, New Hampshire National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and the White Mountain National Forest.

Missing Massachusetts Hiker Located Deceased, Mt. Lafayette Franconia, NH: Just after 11:00 AM searchers located the...

Posted by NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division and Operation Game Thief on Wednesday, November 23, 2022

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

For the latest breaking news, weather, and traffic alerts, download the NEWS CENTER Maine mobile app.

Before You Leave, Check This Out