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Yoga instructor, 35, is found alive after going missing for two weeks while hiking in Hawaii forest

The 35-year-old yoga instructor who had been missing for two weeks has been found safe, according to Hawaii officials.  

Amanda Eller went missing on May 8 while hiking in the Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui.

On Friday evening, helicopter search crews found Eller lying in a stream bed.

‘THEY DID IT!!! #findamanda Amanda Eller has been found alive! After 17 days lost in the steep jungles of East Maui, the never-ending determination & steadfast faith of THESE and HUNDREDS of volunteer searchers paid off!’ a volunteer tweeted. 

The rescuers spotted Eller from the helicopter around 5pm local time. 

 

Yoga instructor, Amanda Eller (center, after she was found Friday), 35, has been found alive, Hawaii officials said Friday. Authorities said Eller, who has been missing for two weeks, was not injured when she was rescued

Eller (pictured) went missing on May 8 while hiking in the Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui. On Friday evening, helicopter search crews found Eller lying in a stream bed

Eller (pictured) went missing on May 8 while hiking in the Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui. On Friday evening, helicopter search crews found Eller lying in a stream bed

‘We found her in a stream bed, she was waving up at us while we were in the helicopter, and we got her out nice and safe,’ Chris Berquist told ABC News.

‘She was not injured. She has a little bit of exposure from the sun, a little bit of sunburn. She lost her shoes a few days in. But no injuries.’

Sarah Haynes, Eller’s friend who ran the ‘Find Amanda’ Facebook page, told the station that the woman was found in a ravine near Twin Falls. 

According to Haynes, Eller survived for 17 days off of water and plants.  

Berquist said Eller was ‘in deep deep H’aiku’ and was discovered ‘several miles above Twin Falls’.

As soon as they got her into the helicopter she was able to speak to her father and give her family the much needed relief of their daughter being found alive. 

‘She was very alert, she knew her father’s phone number, she knew who she was, where she was, knew exactly how long she had been out there – very surprised to see us,’ Berquist told ABC. 

Once rescuers landed, Eller was taken to Maui Memorial Hospital by an ambulance.

Eller's boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol

Amanda Eller, 35

Last week, Eller’s boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol (left), said he wasn’t giving up hope because he believed Eller (right) was still in the forest. And he was right

At the time, Konkol (center and Eller, right) said that 'there's very strong evidence pointing to yeah she's definitely still here, we just haven't found her yet'

At the time, Konkol (center and Eller, right) said that ‘there’s very strong evidence pointing to yeah she’s definitely still here, we just haven’t found her yet’

Last week, Eller’s boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol, said he wasn’t giving up hope because he believed she was still in the forest.

And he was right. 

At the time of her disappearance, Eller had gone hiking without her phone and was last seen by Konkol. 

Konkol told ABC News last week that ‘there’s very strong evidence pointing to yeah she’s definitely still here, we just haven’t found her yet’.

Authorities also released surveillance footage last week that showed Eller wearing workout gear, stopping at the Ha’iku Post Office and a store on the morning she went missing. 

In the footage she was seen mailing a Mother’s Day package and buying water and energy bars.  

Eller is seen at a store

This surveillance footage shows Eller at a store in Maui

Surveillance footage was also released last week and showed Eller wearing workout gear, stopping at the Ha’iku Post Office and a store on the morning she went missing

She was also seen mailing a Mother's Day package and buying water and energy bars (she's pictured at the store)

She was also seen mailing a Mother’s Day package and buying water and energy bars (she’s pictured at the store)

After she was reported missing, Maui Police found Eller's car in the parking lot of the Makawao Forest Reserve trail. She had left her cellphone and wallet in the car before setting off on a hike

After she was reported missing, Maui Police found Eller’s car in the parking lot of the Makawao Forest Reserve trail. She had left her cellphone and wallet in the car before setting off on a hike 

Her family initially feared that she could have been ‘intercepted’ by someone involved in her disappearance. 

Eller, who is originally from Maryland, works as a physical therapist and yoga instructor. She lives and practices in Haiku.   

Police found her white Toyota RAV4 in a nearby parking lot after she was reported missing. They also found her cellphone and wallet. 

Hundreds of volunteers have combed the island for the missing woman in a search that has included tracking dogs, helicopters and drones.

Her family had asked for experienced hikers and hunters to help look for her in the densely-covered forest. 

Eller’s parents initially offered a $10,000 reward for tips that help bring the missing hiker home. It was raised to $50,000 earlier on Friday

Eller’s parents initially offered a $10,000 reward for tips that help bring the missing hiker home. It was raised to $50,000 earlier on Friday

Police sealed off the parking lot where Eller's car was found and are dusting the vehicle for fingerprints

The Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui is a popular attraction for hikers and runners

During their investigation, police sealed off the parking lot where Eller’s car was found (left) and dusted the vehicle for fingerprints

Hundreds of volunteers (pictured) have combed the island for the missing woman in a search that has included tracking dogs, helicopters and drones

Hundreds of volunteers (pictured) have combed the island for the missing woman in a search that has included tracking dogs, helicopters and drones

Eller’s parents initially offered a $10,000 reward for tips that help bring the missing hiker home. It was raised to $50,000 earlier on Friday. 

Her mother, Julia, also flew into Maui from her home in North Carolina to help with the search a little over a week ago. At the time she told KITV4: ‘This a mother’s worst nightmare and  it has been an emotional roller-coaster.

‘I’ve tried to stay positive. If I let myself get mired in self pity of how terrible this is, I can’t help her if I’m caught up in that. 

‘She is an inspiration to me, particularly since I’ve been on my own personal journey lately.’ 

Eller's (center) mother, Julia (second from right), also flew into Maui from her home in North Carolina to help with the search a little over a week ago. At the time she said: 'This a mother's worst nightmare and it has been an emotional roller-coaster'

Eller’s (center) mother, Julia (second from right), also flew into Maui from her home in North Carolina to help with the search a little over a week ago. At the time she said: ‘This a mother’s worst nightmare and it has been an emotional roller-coaster’

Sarah Haynes, Eller's friend who ran the 'Find Amanda' Facebook page, said Eller (pictured) survived for 17 days off of water and plants

Sarah Haynes, Eller’s friend who ran the ‘Find Amanda’ Facebook page, said Eller (pictured) survived for 17 days off of water and plants

During their initial investigation, police towed Eller’s car away from the scene to dust for fingerprints in hopes it would shed light on what happened. 

At the time, they found her car key hidden under the driver’s side front tire.

Haynes said that it was typical for Eller to unplug and run or hike without her phone.

She said after Eller’s disappearance that her friend is cheerful and well-loved, with no mental health issues or other reasons she may want to disappear or harm herself.

During their investigation, police said there was never any evidence of foul play.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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