Search continues for McCallie student swept away in Grand Canyon



Park spokeswoman Robin Martin says three ground teams resumed searching Tuesday along the creek and its downstream confluence with the Colorado River. A boat crew, a helicopter and a drone also are part of the search.


The search continues Tuesday in the Grand Canyon for McCallie student and his step-grandmother.

Jackson Standefer’s uncle says the 14 year old was hiking with his mother and his stepgrandparents.

They were crossing a weather trail Saturday night at Tapeats Creek above the Colorado River, when Jackson and Lou-Ann Merrell, the wife of the Merrell Boots founder, were swept away by the water.

Uncle Mark McOmie says searchers did find their backpacks with their gear inside.

The hope is they were able to find shelter further down in the canyon.

Temperatures are falling into the forties at night in the area.

McOmie says that Merrell is a very experienced backpacker.

“If they can get to a spot where they cannot be in the water and stay warm, she’s got the skills needed to get them through it. The odds aren’t great. But given their skills and knowledge of the area, that will probably lead to the best possible outcome.”

The park service has deployed drones to search the upper reaches of the canyon, and boats from the river below.

This is the latest update from the family last night:

The drones are currently in the steepest part of the canyon. This part is very treacherous and has limestone as opposed to sandstone. This means there are caves and many places to take shelter. The drones will come out and download their footage and it will be analyzed. Hopefully they will find them. There is a zodiac boat team down river searching. Search and rescue has dropped leaflet instructions to all boats on the Colorado River to be on the watch for any articles that could belong to Jackson and Luanne.

Lou-Ann Merrell

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