The youngest daughter of former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman died Tuesday of injuries sustained in a hiking accident in New Zealand, Leman confirmed Wednesday night.
Nicole Leman, 24, was hiking in a mountainous region of New Zealand's South Island near Lake Wanaka when the accident occurred.
"It is painful beyond belief to lose a child," Leman said.
Nicole Leman graduated from Grace Christian School, where she played volleyball, in 2009. She later became a personal trainer in Anchorage. Nicole Leman was also active in local running, hiking and mountaineering groups, a passion that took her to New Zealand about a year ago, her father said.
"She wanted to climb in a beautiful area," Leman said. "It's beautiful here too, but she wanted to experience that in a different place."
"She is happy, somewhat daring and willing to do something most people just talk about doing. She would do a 10-day hike. Put everything she needed on her back and would just go."
The news of Nicole Leman's death began circulating on social media Wednesday afternoon. Gov. Bill Walker and first lady Donna Walker, former Gov. Sean Parnell and the Alaska Senate Majority all publicly shared their condolences.
"It was a tough day, but days will be tough," Leman said. "To lose one of your children is brutal, but we have been encouraged by so many friends."