Family Releases Last Photos of Missing Teen and Grandmother After His Camera Was Found in Grand Canyon
LouAnn Merrell, 62, and her stepgrandson, Jackson Standefer, 14, have been missing since April 15. The teen's camera has been found.
As the search for a woman and her stepgrandson who vanished at the bottom of the Grand Canyon grows increasingly desperate, the last known photos of the duo have emerged.
LouAnn Merrell, 62, and her stepgrandson, Jackson Standefer, 14, have been missing in the Arizona park since April 15.
While search teams have yet to find the pair, they did find Standefer's backpack, which had a GoPro mounted on it. The camera carried the last photos of the woman and the teen.
Their concerned family members have since released the images to the public.
Merrell, the wife of famed boot-maker Randy Merrell, was on a multi-day hike with her stepgrandson and the boy’s mother when she and the boy lost their footing while crossing a creek and were swept away by water.
The National Parks Service has engaged in a search by land, water and air. In addition to search teams on the ground, an inflatable motor boat and a helicopter were joined by multiple drones Monday.
The drones, which are about 18 inches across and 10 inches high and are flown by operators who watch the video in real time before analyzing it, were deployed for several days but have since been taken off the search after coming up empty.
While the NPS has scaled back the search, family members say they are "still praying for a miracle."
"We as a family appreciate the National Park Services efforts in the search," Mark McOmie wrote in a Facebook post. "The search consists of community outreach and routine back country patrols at this time.
"We pray they find something to help us gain closure... we remain hopeful. We would like to thank the National Park Service for their diligent search efforts."
Family members have yet to speak out on the matter. However, McOmie told InsideEdition.com that a celebration of life event will be held Wednesday at the school Jackson attended.
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