The search is on for a yoga instructor whose worried loved ones said she was last heard from last week before going for a hike in a Hawaii forest without her phone.
Amanda Eller, 35, was last heard from Wednesday when she told friends and family she was heading to the Makawao Forest Reserve in Maui. Eller hasn’t been heard from since, and was officially reported missing on Thursday.
Police found her white Toyota RAV4 in the parking lot of the reserve about 9:50 a.m. Thursday.
“Her car was there and her belongings were in her car,” Eller’s friend, Sarah Haynes, told KHON-TV. “Her phone was in her car. That is common for her. She likes to unplug when she runs.”
A multi-agency search at the reserve was underway for several days, but on Sunday the fire department announced its team could no longer continue its own efforts, Eller’s loved ones said.
“They did a terrific job while we had them, 72 hours is a typical search limit here apparently,” family wrote on a Facebook page created to help find Eller. “WE, however, have just begun the forest search. Volunteers please search the forest every day until we find her.”
Though she was from Maryland, Eller has called Maui home since she relocated there for a job in physical therapy.
“The beauty and aloha spirit captivated me, making this island the perfect location to offer my private physical therapy services to my Maui Ohana,” she wrote on her personal website. “Living on this island has also inspired extraordinary changes, including the completion my yoga teacher training.”
After completing her training, Eller began incorporating yoga into her injury prevention and rehabilitation practices, and offering private sessions to her clients.
When she isn’t working as a physical therapist, Eller likes to teach yoga, scuba diving, paddle boarding and hiking, she wrote on her website.
Her interests were echoed by her friend and family, who described Eller as athletic and an avid outdoors person who they believe is still alive. Eller’s parents have also announced they are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.
“Amanda Eller is out there,” loved ones wrote on Facebook Sunday. “It has only been 4 days. She can live for weeks w/o food. She is mentally and physically strong, her healthy physical, spiritual and emotional lifestyle has prepared her for this moment. If she is injured out there, she is waiting for us.”
Volunteers resumed their search for Eller early Monday and planned to continue looking for her until 6 p.m.