Hiker missing for more than 2 weeks in Hawaii found alive

She was discovered by lead searchers Chris Berquist and Javier Cantellops, who had been scanning the East Maui landscape aboard a private helicopter contracted by the family to aid in the search, family spokeswoman Sarah Haynes said. They spotted her from a helicopter and at the same time she saw them and waved them down. Incredible footage from the scene showed the helicopter rescue taking place. "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. John Eller said that one of the men who had found his daughter was Javier Cantellops, the outlet reported.

The successful rescue mission capped off a 17-day search in which friends and family of the Mechanicsville native had offered a $50,000 reward for information about what they feared was a possible abduction.

Eller, 35, disappeared after apparently going for a hike on May 8. Her disappearance inspired a joint search and rescue effort by multiple agencies, which found her auto in a parking lot at the reserve. "We said that in the beginning and it was absolutely true", said her father, John Eller, according to KITV. Amanda was located deep in a creek bed between two waterfalls. She is just as strong as we always said she would be.

"She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest - way way out, somewhere way far above Twin Falls", read a post announcing her discovery on the FindAmanda Facebook page.

It was not immediately clear how or to what extent Eller was injured, but Berquist said Eller was "very alert" and "very surprised to see us".

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Amanda was found during an air search of the forest.

The family of Amanda Eller confirms that she has been found alive and was found in a forest in Maui.

Olenik, who met Eller when the two worked together in St. Petersburg, is part of a Facebook group chat that Eller's friends used to keep in touch after she went missing.

"I can't imagine what went through her head, psychologically", Olenik said.

Local reports suggest she has lost weight, but may have stayed alive after foraging on berries and local water sources. "I never gave up hope for a minute".

  • Jon Douglas