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Body of missing Brown County teenager found, believed to have died of hypothermia

thumbnail_Daniella Velazquez.jpeg
Posted at 10:22 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 23:32:15-05

BROWN COUNTY (NBC 26) — The Brown County Sheriff's Office says authorities have recovered a body believed to belong to 17-year-old Daniela Velazquez at approximately 11:15 Tuesday morning in the Town of Wrightstown.

"Sincere sympathy goes out to the family, Daniela's friends," Captain David Poteat said during a press conference Tuesday. "It's a hard time for them."

Poteat says Daniela was in the Wrightstown area living with her mom.

Here's what we know from authorities.

Poteat says Daniela told her mom she was going for a drive and the last person Daniela talked to on her phone was a friend in Florida late Saturday night.

But between 3 and 6 a.m. Sunday, Daniela's car went off the road into a ditch on Blake Road south of Highway 96.

"Daniela did not show up for work the next morning at 10 a.m.," Poteat said.

thumbnail_Daniella Velazquez.jpeg
The Brown County Sheriff's Office says they recovered a body believed to belong to 17-year-old Daniela Velazquez, who was last seen on Sunday, Jan. 29.

Daniela's mom reported her daughter as missing on Sunday afternoon.

Over the next few days, authorities searched nearly 40 acres of land east of where the car was found using a drone, K-9's, snowmobiles, and ATVs.

During the search, authorities found a piece of clothing that matched what she was wearing.

"Out in the cold, you know, an article of clothing being taken off, that's not uncommon with people who are suffering from hypothermia," Poteat said. "At some point, they seem to have a sensation of being hot."

Daniela was last seen wearing a black and grey sweatshirt, and red and white pajamas.

Poteat says Daniela's body was found in the 2600 block of Day Street — also known as Highway 96 — a quarter mile away from where her car was.

Daniela's cause of death is believed to be hypothermia.

"She was definitely not dressed for the weather," Poteat said.

Poteat says Daniela's phone and shoes were outside of the car and her keys and wallet were inside. No messages were sent for help.

"When she started walking, she didn't have the phone with her," Poteat said.

Poteat says an autopsy is scheduled for later this week, but he says there is no reason to believe there is foul play.