Hiker Missing for More Than 2 Weeks Found Alive in Maui, Hawaii

May 25, 2019 Updated: May 25, 2019

A 35-year-old hiker who had gone missing while hiking in Maui, Hawaii, more than two weeks ago has been found alive.

Friends and family of Amanda Eller posted an announcement in the late afternoon on May 24 saying that she had been found.

“She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest—way way out,” they said in the announcement, posted on the Facebook page “Findamanda.”

“She is being air-evacuated now, she just talked to her father on the phone. Amanda Eller is alive!” the announcement read.

“I think she took a good fall. They found her in a deep ravine, basically unable to get out, as I understand it,” John Eller, Amanda’s father said in an interview with Maui 24/7, HawaiiNewsNow reported. “The rescuers had to be airlifted out as well, because it was so tumultuous.”

Chris Berquist, team leader of the group that was searching for Eller, told Maui Now shortly after 5:15 p.m. local time: “We found her alive and well … she is walking and healthy. She was just very lost.”

“She was very aware, very alert. She looks a little skinnier than she was last time, I think, and she’s a little tanner than she was, but other than that, perfectly healthy,” he said according to Maui Now.

A helicopter pilot who was hired by Eller’s family spotted her, according to HawaiiNewsNow. John Eller said that one of the men who had found his daughter was Javier Cantellops, the outlet reported. Cantellops owns a diving company on the Valley Isle.

Cantellops posted photos of himself and Eller on his Facebook page to share with the public his joy of having found her, as well as immense gratitude for those who had been supporting the search.

“Well, can you believe it! I can’t believe it. I’ve been crying and laughing,” he said in a video posted to Facebook. “I can’t thank everyone out there for your support … we never gave up, I never gave up … We found her guys! All because of you guys!”

“I think I’ve earned a beer,” Cantellops said. “I love you guys so much, thank you guys so much. We’ll see you soon!”

Eller is a Maui physical therapist and yoga instructor. She was reported missing in Maui on May 9 by her boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol, after her car was found parked near Makawao Forest Reserve with her wallet and cellphone inside on May 8.

“I feel like she’s out here somewhere, and so I’m just asking for that love and support; and just keep her—keep us—in your prayers,” he said on May 19.

Konkol had been searching every day since the search began for Eller, search volunteers told Maui Now.

About 60 people were searching the area after Eller’s disappearance, NBC reported.

“He’s been out there—first guy out there, one of the last guys back, putting tons of energy into looking around out there, absolutely,” Chris Berquist, a volunteer team leader in the search for Eller, told Maui Now on May 16.

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy
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