After two weeks, a 35-year-old physical therapist and yoga teacher has been found alive in a forest reserve in Maui, Hawaii. Rescue crews found the woman who had been existing on plants and water to survive.
According to the New York Post Amanda Eller, 35, was found late Friday, 16 days after she went missing during a hike on the Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui. Her car was found at a trailhead with the key hidden under the driver’s side front tire. She apparently went hiking without her phone.
She was spotted in a creek bed between two waterfalls by a crew of searchers in a helicopter, led by former Special Operations Airborne Ranger Javier Cantellops, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
Hundreds of volunteers had looked for her in the steep jungle.
Her rescuers were Javier Cantellops, Troy Helmer and Chris Berquist.
Eller, 35, was reported missing on May 8, prompting a massive search after she failed to return from a routine hike on a Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui, according to The Maui News. Her vehicle was later discovered in the parking lot with her cellphone and wallet.
“Generally speaking, it’s highly likely she’s lost or injured in this forest, and its equally as likely that she was intercepted by someone in the parking lot or on her run,” a family spokesman Sarah Haynes told the newspaper. “As the days go by, and more and more people are in the forest, we get closer and closer to foul play.”
Hundreds of volunteers canvassed the island for the missing Maryland native in a search that has also included tracking dogs, helicopters and drones.
Her family asked for experienced rapellers and hunters to help look for the missing hiker in the densely-covered forest. They felt reassured by the fact that the forest had many water sources that could help Eller survive until she was found.
According to her mother, Eller has a fractured leg but otherwise is in “surprisingly good shape”, CNN reported. She had lost about 7 kilos.
This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.