Originally Published: April 17, 2017 11:56 a.m.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Authorities are searching for a 14-year-old boy and a 62-year-old woman missing in Grand Canyon National Park after they were swept down a creek while crossing it in a remote part of the park.
Chief Ranger Matt Vandzura of the National Park Service says two fellow hikers alerted authorities by setting off an emergency GPS locator beacon in the backcountry area below the canyon's North Rim.
Vandzura said the two lost their footing and were swept away Saturday in Tapeats Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River.
The first hiker have been identified as Jackson Standefer, a 14-year-old middle school student from Chattanooga, Tenn. He is described as being 5-feet-8-inches tall and weighing around 105 pounds with black hair. He was last seen wearing black Nike shorts, a long-sleeved white T-shirt with "COLUMBIA" written on the sleeve and navy blue Chaco sandals. He was carrying a new sage-green backpack.
The second hiker is described as a 62-year-old woman with blonde hair and green eyes, around 5-feet-5-inches tall and weighing around 145 pounds. She was last seen wearing khaki zip-off shorts, a blue-green button-down short-sleeved shirt and blue water shoes. She was carrying a homemade blue backpack with maroon fleece and hiking poles attached.
The family of Jackson Standefer released this statement Monday:
“Last night at 9 pm local time and 12 EST the search and rescue met with the families. There is nothing new to report. Search and rescue logged 300 man hours yesterday in the search. Rescuers were in the canyon searching all night. They are sending in drones at 7am to scour the wall of the slot canyon they think they could be in. The out look is not promising but there is still a glimmer of hope. We will hold on to this hope until there is reason not to. Please keep praying.”
An investigation is underway but authorities have not concluded how the two were swept away.
A helicopter and a drone on Monday were assisting searchers on the ground.
Anyone with information about the missing hikers is asked to contact the National Parks Service at 928-638-7805.