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Hiker missing in Hawaii for more than two weeks found alive in forest

Posted at 11:41 AM, May 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-25 12:41:36-04

Honolulu (NBC) – A 35-year-old hiker who was missing for more than two weeks was found alive on Friday in a Hawaiian forest, the woman’s mother confirmed to NBC News affiliate KHNL in Honolulu.

Amanda Eller was reported missing in Maui on May 9 after she didn’t return from the Makawao Forest Reserve, a 2,093-acre area thick with trees and trails that are popular among hikers and mountain bikers. Her vehicle had been found near the park with her wallet and cellphone inside.

On Friday, a Facebook page dedicated to finding Eller posted an update stating, “Amanda has been found.”

“Elated. Excited. Ecstatic,” Eller’s mother, Julia, told KHNL.

“I can’t even put it into words I’m so incredibly grateful,” she added.

Julia said she didn’t yet have details about her daughter’s ordeal. “She had gone a long way,” she said. “And that’s all I know.”

Amanda was spotted in a deep ravine between two waterfalls, a post on the Facebook page said. She was “slightly injured” but able to call her father once rescuers evacuated her by helicopter, the post added.

Eller’s parents, who had offered a cash reward for her safe return, said previously that they she believed she was hiking when she went missing.

The forest has caves, ravines and trenches, and 60 searchers combed the area by land and air in the days after her disappearance.

The station reported that a helicopter pilot hired by Eller’s family spotted her from the air.

Eller is a physical therapist and yoga instructor. Her condition was unknown. Her mother was en route to a hospital where the woman was being checked out.