A college student who went missing during a weekend hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was found dead Wednesday.
New Hampshire Fish and Game said the body of Emily Sotelo, of Westford, Massachusetts, was located around 11 am on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette in Franconia.
Sotelo had intended to complete a solo hike, and her mother reportedly dropped her off before dawn Sunday morning at a campsite near Franconia Notch.
Her mother contacted NHFG after she did not return in the late afternoon.
TEAMS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE SEARCHING FOR MISSING HIKER FROM MASSACHUSETTS
More than a dozen search-and-rescue teams made up of Fish and Game officers and volunteers spent the next few days searching for Sotelo using aircraft and sniffer dogs.
Fingerprints and items belonging to the missing woman were found at the Lafayette Brook headquarters Tuesday afternoon. That night, authorities said crews were working on a recovery mission rather than a rescue one.
When her body was located, an Army National Guard helicopter helped airlift her to the Cannon Mountain ski area.
MISSING COLORADO HIKER FOUND DEAD AFTER BEING SEPARATED FROM GROUP
Sotelo was working toward a goal of climbing New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before his 20th birthday, according to the Associated Press. He would have turned 20 on Wednesday, the day his body was found.
Fish and Game officials said the search was difficult as rescuers faced high winds, low temperatures and blizzard snow. Sotelo was reportedly not prepared for the conditions when she went for a walk wearing a light jacket, sneakers and sweat pants over long underwear.
“The weather conditions for Sunday night were single digit temperatures, 40 to 60 mph winds, snow and she was not dressed for those temperatures,” Fish and Game Maj. David Walsh said, according to PA. “Those are extreme conditions, and she then ended up off the road.”
Although her family described Sotelo as an experienced hiker, they said she did not have much experience hiking in the winter.
Walsh said his death should serve as “a warning to all hikers,” stressing the importance of preparing for the unexpected.
“Know the weather conditions, dress for the weather conditions, have extra clothes, extra food, water, a headlamp, a map and a compass,” Walsh said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Sotelo was a sophomore at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee studying biochemistry and chemical biology. He had recently transferred to the Nashville school from the College of William & Mary, the AP reported.