THE body of a “beautiful” Brit who went missing during a hike in New Zealand has been found, police confirmed today.
Stephanie Simpson, from Essex, told friends she was going hiking at Mount Aspiring National Park on the South Island on Saturday.
But the 32-year-old was tragically found in the Pyke Creek area after an extensive search.
Sergeant Mark Kirkwood, Officer in Charge, West Coast Search and Rescue, today confirmed the body had been found about 1.40pm local time.
He said: “Searchers located missing hiker Stephanie Simpson’s body this afternoon.
“Earlier, searchers had found items in the area thought to belong to Stephanie, including a pack and a pair of boots.
“Police extend their condolences to Stephanie’s family at this tragic time.”
He thanked those who had been involved in the search since it was launched on Monday.
He added: “The search was extremely challenging at times, especially in consideration of the terrain, and the work of all involved is to be commended.”
The young woman’s parents had just flown into New Zealand to join the search.
Stephanie had told friends she planned to make a four-hour trek to Brewster Hut before heading to the Blue Pools on Saturday.
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The death will be referred to the Coroner.
Her disappearance comes after heavy rains caused flooding around the national park where two hikers were found dead in a swollen river on Friday.
A state of emergency was declared in the flooded region, where roads were closed and a steady downpour left homes and farms sodden.