Lt. James Kneeland
Captain Mike Eastman
November 23, 2022
Franconia, NH – Just after 11:00 a.m. searchers located the body of Emily Sotelo on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette, in Franconia. Sotelo had departed on a solo hike of Franconia Ridge on the morning of November 20. When Sotelo had not returned at the planned time a family member notified NH Fish and Game. Due to the harsh weather conditions a search commenced Sunday evening and lasted through the night. Searchers were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures, and blowing snow. Searchers spent the next two days looking for Sotelo and Tuesday afternoon tracks and items belonging to Sotelo 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 at 11:15 a.m. A NH Army National Guard helicopter was able to help with the extrication of Sotelo to the Cannon Mountain Ski Area.
Many groups and agencies assisted NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers during the search to include: Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team, Mountain Rescue Service, Lakes Region Search and Rescue, Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, New England K-9, NH Army National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and the White Mountain National Forest. NH Fish and Game would also like to thank AT&T First Net and NH Emergency Management.