Amanda Eller’s three rescuers speak out

Local News

The three men, Troy Helmer, Chris Berquist and Javier Cantellops had been scoping out the terrain in a helicopter below Bamboo Forest ahead of time. They never thought they were going to find Amanda Eller.

They say a search party to find Amanda was planning to be sent out there this weekend.

But by luck, they had found her first.

“We were hovering above the stream at about a walking pace. Javier and I were both looking at the right window and we saw it at the same time. We both shook like, ‘Oh my God, I see her!,'” said Berquist. “The only pretty girl waving at us down the river bend.”

Because of the landscape, they had to get dropped off on the mountain about 300 yards away from where Amanda was. They say they had to climb down to get to her, but once they got down, they ran to her.

“We were yelling at her telling her not to move,” said Helmer.

“We were freaking out. We were trying not to trip over our shoes trying to get there too fast. We couldn’t get there fast enough,” said Berquist.

They say when they got to her, they were worried.

“She looked emaciated,” said Cantellops. “she looks like she lost about 20 lbs,” said Helmer.

“She says she’s been eating plants. She’s been eating a lot of plants… Her legs looked all beat up. Lost her shoes about week ago,” said Cantellops. 

“She was barefoot. No shoes, no socks,” said Helmer.
 
But they say she still had her humor.

“It was a little overwhelming, and so we were like, ‘What are you doing?’ And she was like, ‘I went for a three mile run, and it went a little longer,'” said Berquist.

All four were air lifted to safety.

Back at the Makawao Forest base camp, the men were met with cheers, marked as heroes for having finally found Amanda.

“Beyond blown away that we found her,” said Helmer. ” That we found somebody’s daughter by doing it right. By not giving up,” said Cantellops. 

The Eller family says they will throw a big celebration for all the people who helped to find Amanda.

Watch the full interview here:

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