GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The National Park Service is looking for two hikers — a 14-year-old boy and a 62-year-old woman — who went missing near Tapeats Creek in the backcountry area of Grand Canyon National Park Saturday.
The hiking party they were with said the hikers were last seen crossing Tapeats Creek Saturday evening below where it meets Thunder River; they lost their footing and were swept down Tapeats Creek.
The first hiker is Jackson Standefer from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is described as a 14-year-old boy with black hair around 5-feet-8-inches tall and weighing around 105 pounds. 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, Jackson's step-grandmother, 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 a statement Monday, WRCB reports:
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.
Jackson is an eighth-grader at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, an all-boys boarding school. The school released a statement Monday:
As has been reported by several media outlets, McCallie eighth-grader Jackson Standefer has been missing in the Grand Canyon since late Saturday on a family trip.
Jackson and his step-grandmother were swept downstream while attempting to cross a river Saturday afternoon. Rescue efforts began quickly and are ongoing. The family remains hopeful that rescuers will find Jackson and his step-grandmother and return them safely to their families.
This morning, students were told about the situation involving Jackson and the ongoing rescue operations and hopes for rescue. The boys have been offered help if they need it as they process this situation.
The entire McCallie community sends its prayers to the Standefer family and all those close to Jackson as we all hope for a positive ending to this situation. Out of respect for the family, McCallie will not be making faculty or students available for further comment at this time.
Anybody with information about the hikers is asked to contact NPS at 928-638-7805.