Hawaii hiker found alive after two weeks missing

Ann Santiago
May 27, 2019

An American Hawaii woman has been found alive in a forest on Hawaii's Maui island after going missing more than two weeks ago.

Thanks to more than $70,000 raised in donations, loved ones of Amanda Eller were able to charter a helicopter, which ultimately helped find her.

"I wanted to give up", Eller, 35, said from her hospital bed late Friday.

Eller suffered from a fractured tibia, skin infection and severe sun burns, but is expected to be OK.

A post on their Findamanda Facebook group accompanying this picture said: Amanda was found by our own search team captains Chris and Javier!

Eller's mom, Julia, beamed during a hospital news conference, telling reporters her daughter - the sweetest and most caring person, her mother said - had gone for a 3-mile walk May 8 on a different path than usual when she stopped to meditate then nap and then when she woke up couldn't figure out how to get back to her vehicle. "She is so incredibly grateful for the coverage that you have given this and how you have played a huge part in getting her home".

But when she got up to resume, she was turned around.

Eller's SUV was found Thursday, not long after she'd been reported missing, at the base of the Kahakapao Trail.

"Seeing the way that the community of Maui came together...just under the idea of helping one person make it out of the woods alive, it just warms my heart", said Eller in the video.

As word of her discovery spread across Maui, searchers gleefully scribbled messages that read "FOUND ALIVE!" on the posters that had been publicizing her disappearance.

Eller told the Times that she had meant to go on a short trail walk.

Amanda Eller, 35, spoke for the first time this weekend about her ordeal, saying she nearly gave up deep in the jungle.

Finally, after 17 days of wandering, she saw a helicopter sent to find her.

Reports say she got lost and injured while hiking in the area. She was met by an ambulance at the helipad and taken to Maui Memorial Hospital.

Since Amanda was found, any remaining funds will be used to install wildlife cameras at strategic locations around the Makawao Forrest Reserve trails and other popular recreational areas in Maui to have a record of hikers and runners locations through the potentially unsafe areas, and significantly reduce search areas and rescue times for missing persons. "WE, however, have just begun the forest search". They had come before, several times and she had waved as best she could, but they flew away.

"She was in deep deep H'aiku", Berquist said.

"She's a trouper, man; she's a real warrior", her mom said.

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