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Search crews recover body of young Mass. woman who got lost while hiking in New Hampshire mountains

FRANCONIA NOTCH, N.H. — Authorities on Wednesday recovered the body of a young Massachusetts woman who got lost while hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire over the weekend.

The body of Emily Sotelo, 20, of Westford, was recovered just after 11 a.m. by New Hampshire Fish and Game officials following a two-day search in the area of Franconia Notch.

Sotelo was dropped off at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia by her mother early Sunday morning and she planned to hike a few nearby mountains.

Considering the extreme weather conditions at the time, officials said Sotelo was “ill provisioned” and “woefully unprepared” to hike mountains in the area.

Sotelo was reported missing by her family when she didn’t show up to her 20th birthday party on Sunday afternoon.

In a statement, New Hampshire Fish and game said, “Due to the harsh weather conditions a search commenced Sunday evening and thru the night. Searchers were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow. Searchers spent the next two days looking for Emily and Tuesday afternoon tracks and items belonging to Emily were located at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook. A plan was made to concentrate the search effort in this area on Wednesday when ground searchers located her body.”

Crews ultimately located Sotelo’s body near the Cannon Mountain ski area. Her remains were flown out by a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter.

Sotelo is believed to have died from prolonged exposure to the elements.

There were no additional details immediately available.

An investigation remains ongoing.

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