Stephanie Simpson: New Zealand police find body of missing woman

Cheryl Sanders
February 14, 2020

Stephanie Simpson, 32, was last seen by fellow hikers in Mount Aspiring National Park on the South Island on Saturday.

Police announced today the search had been narrowed to the Pyke Creek area, which consisted of "extremely challenging terrain".

The death will be referred to the Coroner.

The alarm was raised when Miss Simpson, from Essex, failed to turn up at her landscaping job on Monday.

A missing British backpacker has been found dead after she disappeared while out hiking in New Zealand.

Sgt Kirkwood said in a statement that police extended their condolences to Ms Simpson'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 hard time".

Police thanked those involved in the search since it began on Monday for their considerable efforts to locate Simpson.

That area has been described by police as "extremely challenging terrain".

Police earlier said they wanted to hear from anyone who stayed in the Cameron Flat area on Friday, February 7 and saw or spoke to Ms Simpson, or anyone who may have seen her on the track from Fantail Falls to Mt Armstrong, or in Makarora Valley.

Last week, torrential rain struck the area and caused slips and flooding throughout Southland and Fiordland.

LandSAR staff, two dog teams, Alpine Cliff Rescue staff from Fox Glacier, and a canyon search and rescue team from Wanaka were assisting with the search today.

A helicopter had been used on Monday evening and inquiries helped them narrow down the search area.

He said Simpson was "very competent and physically fit".

"The New Zealand police have said there have been two sightings of her on the trail but we don't know the source of the information or have any further details".

"She is relatively experienced in outdoor activities and has already completed a number of hikes".

Mr Hazelton said: "It was a normal weekend tramp".

Other reports by iNewsToday