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Why body of missing hiker, Emily Sotelo, may never be found

 This morning marks the fourth day in the search for missing hiker, Emily Sotelo, and it is likely that this has now become a search-and-recovery mission. Seemingly unprepared to withstand the rigors presented by frigid temperatrures and high winds in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire the day she went missing (Sunday, November 20, 2022), it is doubtful the 19-year-old lady could have survived.

If she was indeed hiking in the area indicated by her mom, there is a high probability that her renains may never be found. Flash back to the summer of 2013 when 66-year-old, Geraldine Largay of Brentwood, Tennessee, was reported missing while hiking the Appalachian Trail south of Rangeley Maine.

Geraldine Largay

A massive search including roughly 130 prople over a 10-day period, turned up nothing. It wasn't until more than two years later that a forester found her remains approximately 3,000 yards from the trail. No foul play was suspected.

Why was Geraldine not found sooner? My wife, Linda, and I are very familiar with the Appalachian Trail where Ms. Largay disappeared - and also with the trails allegedly targeted by Emily Sotelo. Hikers are instructed to stick to the trails, not only to preserve the flora and fauna of the area, but to keep people from getting lost.

It is possible that Geraldine may have left the trail to relieve hereself - or for some other reason - and could not find the trail again. Hikers know this can happen to those not well aware of the terrain and their surroundings. Non-hikers may erroneously ridicule the idea.

Both areas where these ladies were reported missing see little hunting pressure, and hunters often find the remains of missing persons. In the case of Ms. Largay, it was a fluke that a forester was conducting an environmental survey in her hiking area, finding her remains. 

That is the reason that Emily Sotelo's remains may never be found, particulary if she veered off the marked trails. Largay's body was found 1.7 miles from the well-marked Appalachian trail. She was hiking in summer and was well-prepared with clothing and equipment. Not so Sotelo. She ventured into some horrible weather conditions in attire proper for only summer hiking. Let's hope her remains can be located before the recovery operation is called off for the safety of those involved.


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