A 20-year-old Utah woman has died in a hiking accident in Switzerland, where she was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Annabelle Nielsen was hiking with five other missionaries when she slipped and fell down a steep incline, a rep for the Mormon church said, per the Salt Lake Tribune. The exact circumstances aren't clear. Nielsen, of Highland, had been serving with the Alpine German-Speaking Mission since July 2019. She was to serve for 18 months, according to an assignment announcement shared on her Instagram account, per People, meaning her term was almost up. She had remained in Switzerland amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We express our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones," said the spokesperson, Daniel Woodruff. He added the missionaries who witnessed the accident would be given "the necessary support as they process what happened." Neilsen's family was notified of her death on Tuesday, family spokesperson Rodger Lyman of the Highland Utah Central Stake church tells the Deseret News, describing Neilsen as "a wonderful young woman … very kind and loving." "The family is struggling, as anyone would, but keeping the faith," he adds. Nielsen had expressed love for her family on Facebook in July, per the Deseret News, adding her belief that "we can still be a family after death … thanks to Jesus Christ." (Read more hiking death stories.)