Body of British hiker who went missing in New Zealand has been found, police say

Yahoo News UK

The body of a British hiker who went missing in New Zealand has been found, police have said.

Stephanie Simpson had not been seen since she went hiking in the Mount Aspiring national park on New Zealand’s South Island at the weekend.

New Zealand police said the 32-year-old’s body has been found in the Pyke Creek area after an extensive search.

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Sergeant Mark Kirkwood, from New Zealand Police’s West Coast Search and Rescue, said Stephanie’s body had been found at around 1.40pm on Friday local time.

He said earlier, items thought to belong to her, including a pack and a pair of boots, had been found in the area.

Stephanie Simpson's body has been found, New Zealand Police said (Picture: Facebook/Stephanie Simpson)
Stephanie Simpson's body has been found, New Zealand Police said (Picture: Facebook/Stephanie Simpson)
Stephanie Simpson went missing while hiking in Mount Aspiring national park in New Zealand (Picture: DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Stephanie Simpson went missing while hiking in Mount Aspiring national park in New Zealand (Picture: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

“Police extend their condolences to Stephanie's family at this tragic time,” he said.

“The family are understandably grieving and they have asked media to respect their request for privacy during this difficult time. 

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“Police would also like to thank everyone involved in the search since it began on Monday for their considerable efforts to locate Stephanie.  

“The search was extremely challenging at times, especially in consideration of the terrain, and the work of all involved is to be commended.” 

Stephanie reportedly worked as a gardener in Wanaka, New Zealand (Picture: Getty)
Stephanie reportedly worked as a gardener in Wanaka, New Zealand (Picture: Getty)

He said Stephanie’s death would be referred to the coroner.

The 32-year-old was reported missing on Monday after she did not turn up to her job as a gardener in the Wanaka area, where she had been living, and had reportedly told friends she planned to go hiking in Mount Aspiring National Park.

Her brother-in-law Sam Hazelton told the New Zealand Herald that her family were “hoping upon hope” that she will be found.

“The family are just at their wits’ end, they’re trying really hard to cope,” he said.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman previously said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman who has been reported missing in New Zealand and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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