Eller, 35, was reported missing on May 9 after she didn’t return from the Makawao Forest Reserve. Police found her Toyota RAV4 in the reserve’s parking lot that morning, with her keys, phone, and wallet left behind. Her disappearance launched a large search with volunteers after Maui authorities called theirs off, the Washington Post reports.
On Friday, a Facebook page focusing on the search effort posted, “URGENT UPDATE! Amanda has been found.”
A private helicopter contracted by Eller’s family had spotted her in a deep ravine between two waterfalls four miles from her car, “slightly injured,” according to the Facebook page. Eller had been surviving on plants and water, a friend told local affiliate KITV, and was airlifted to a hospital.
“She figured it out, she was smart, she was strong, she was prepared,” her father, John Eller, told KITV.
Eller “took a good fall” and got lost looking for a way back, her father said in a video taken outside a hospital by Maui 24/7. She was “basically unable to get out” of the ravine, he said, and that the rescuers had to be airlifted out as well “because it was so tumultuous.” A photo posted to Facebook showed her swollen feet and ankles covered in blisters.
“We could not be more appreciative to the hundreds of volunteers that hung fliers and did ground searches every day for 16 days,” Sarah Haynes, who organized the Facebook page, told KITV. "This is the best news I've ever had.”