A woman has been discovered alive and in ‘surprisingly good shape’ more than two weeks after she went missing in a Hawaiian forest.
Amanda Eller, a 35-year-old physical therapist, was last seen in the Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8. Concerns for her safety arose after her car was found abandoned in the forest’s car park alongside her phone and wallet.
Hundreds joined an ‘intense’ search party for Amanda, whilst family and friends offered a cash reward for her safe return, Hawaii News Now reports.
Seventeen days into the search, she was spotted from a helicopter ‘in the bed of a creek with waterfalls on either side’ after getting lost and injured while hiking in the area.
Taking to the ‘FindAmanda’ Facebook page, relieved friends and family announced she was found safe in a post now with thousands of likes.
Amanda was eventually rescued and airlifted to hospital last Friday.
It’s not yet been revealed how Amanda managed to survive for two weeks in the forest, or the extent of her injuries.
“I think she took a good fall. They found her in a deep ravine, basically unable to get out, as I understand it,” said John Eller, Amanda’s father, in an interview with Maui 24/7. “The rescuers had to be airlifted out as well because it was so tumultuous.”
Hawaii News Now also spoke to family members who confirmed Amanda was in good shape despite her ordeal.
Amanda did not have any broken bones and was reportedly ‘very alert and very aware’, although she did suffer from some abrasions and severe sun exposure.
‘Elated. Excited. Ecstatic,’ said Julia Eller, Amanda’s mother. ‘I can’t even put it into words. I’m so incredibly grateful.’
Her father admitted to ‘bawling like a baby’ when his daughter was found.
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.