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Maui hiker who went missing for two weeks found alive

Posted at 12:44 PM, May 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-25 13:44:04-04

(CBS) – A woman who went missing two weeks ago in Maui has been found alive. Amanda Eller, 35, was last seen on May 8, and was believed to be lost during a hike. Her mother said she was “incredibly grateful” by the news.

“Elated. Excited. Ecstatic,” Julia Eller, Amanda’s mother, told CBS affiliate KGMB. “I can’t even put it into words.”

Eller was able to wave down a helicopter from a creek bed between two waterfalls, said Sarah Haynes, a volunteer who helped organize the search. “She is just as strong as we always said she would be,” Haynes wrote on Facebook. “We knew she could make it this long.”

A Facebook page dedicated to the search said she was only “slightly injured” and said the privately-owned helicopter had been funded by public donations.

The area where Eller was found is believed to have been roughly four miles from where her car and cell phone were discovered on May 9, in the parking lot of the Kahakapao Loop Trail of the Makawao Forest Reserve, KGMB reported.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said he’s grateful for the community’s efforts in the search.

“This search and rescue was truly a community collaboration of Maui County first responders, family, friends and community volunteers,” Victorino said in a statement. “I extend my deepest appreciation for everyone involved in searching for and locating Amanda. Your work, determination and sacrifice has helped return her to her loving family. God bless them all.”