Grand Canyon Search For McCallie Student, Step-Grandmother Called Off

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Jackson Standefer
Jackson Standefer

The National Park Service has called off a search for a missing McCallie School student and his step-grandmother, family members said.

Jackson Standefer, 14, and LouAnn Merrell, 62, were washed away in a fast-flowing stream at the base of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Saturday.

Family members on Wednesday had talked of bringing in climbers and a special drone to step up the search.

The family on Thursday morning issued this statement:

"Wednesday evening, the National Park Service announced that they were calling off the search for Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell, who have been missing in the Grand Canyon since Saturday evening. The families would like to thank everyone for their tremendous outpouring of love, prayers and support throughout this tragic ordeal. Please respect both families' need for privacy as they come to process and seek God's comfort during this difficult time. We believe families are forever and we will be reunited with our loved ones."

They were crossing a creek while on the Tapeats Trail when they lost their footing.

With them were the husband of Ms. Merrell and the mother of the McCallie student.

The park service has been using three ground search teams, a helicopter, a drone and an inflatable motor raft in the difficult, complex terrain.The search crews have been spending the night at the search area.

LouAnn Merrell
LouAnn Merrell

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