Body of Stephanie Simpson, British hiker missing in New Zealand, found

Stephanie Simpson

Enlarge Image Stephanie Simpson Facebook

Police in New Zealand have found the body of missing British hiker Stephanie Simpson.

The search for Ms Simpson is due to resume for a fifth day later with more search teams, who will focus on the Pyke area of the park.

It was not immediately clear how exactly she died, and her death has been referred to the coroner.

Stephanie Simpson, 32, went hiking in the Mount Aspiring National Park last weekend and was reported missing on Monday after failing to arrive at an appointment, police said.

In a statement, Sergeant Kirkwood said that police extended their condolences to Ms Simpson's family "at this tragic time".

"The family are understandably grieving and they have asked media to respect their request for privacy during this hard time", Sergeant Kirkwood said.

Police thanked those involved in the search, many of whom were local volunteers from the Wanaka and Makarora region.

"The search was extremely challenging at times, especially in consideration of the terrain", he said.

Mount Aspiring national park
Mount Aspiring national park in New Zealand where Simpson was found dead. De Agostini via Getty Images

"She contacted her friends after that on the Friday to say she was going hiking and camping".

"Searchers have located items of interest which has informed the decision to narrow the search to this area", a police spokeswoman said.

Land Search and Rescue, two dog teams, Alpine Cliff Rescue staff from Fox Glacier, and a canyon search and rescue team from Wanaka helped search on Friday.

Brother-in-law Sam Hazelton had earlier told the New Zealand Herald that Simpson was an experienced hiker and very fit, having competed in triathlons and running races.

"She's an extremely determined, strong-willed person", Mr Hazelton said.

According to the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, 57 hikers died in the 10 years to June 2017, with worldwide tourists making up close to half.

Speaking to Sky News prior to her body was found, he defined her as 'really skilled as well as healthy.'. She was reported missing when she didn't show up to work Monday morning.

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