What challenges surround Makawao Forest Reserve when searching for Amanda Eller?

Local News

Friends and family continue searching for a missing Maui woman, who was last seen last week on Wednesday morning. 35-year-old Amanda Eller‘s car was found at the Makawao Forest Reserve. 

We’re told this is a place with a very popular trail. People tend to hike the loop which is about 5 miles and you can do it with kids. Eller’s family believes she did make it to the forest because a dog did pick up her scent. 

As the search continues, Sarah Haynes, one of the coordinators of the search, tells us Maui Police have video footage of Eller’s car leaving the post office the morning she disappeared but are not releasing it yet. Meantime friends and family continue to look for her inside the Makawao Forest Reserve. 

One group that has helped is the Maui Search and Rescue, an auxiliary for Maui Police and Fire. They consist of 21 members, 1 dog, and 4 dogs in training. 

“We have a K-9 team, drone team, we have a rappelling team, and a tracking team,” said MJ Partin of Maui Search and Rescue. 

The nonprofit says volunteers are dedicated to helping all families in need. 

“I lost someone who was never found. Most of our volunteers have lost someone who has never been,” said Partin. “We are auxiliary and we have just recently been utilized by them, which we are very grateful Maui Fire and Police have allowed us to help.”

To learn more about Maui Search and Rescue or to donate to their mission, click here

We wanted to know more about the terrain where these searches are happening. 

“You can very well fall into a ravine. There are some steep slopes along the trail and other parts of the reserve,” said Rob Weltman, the Maui Sierra Club Chair. 

Weltman tells us there are a number of different trails.

“I don’t think you can see it from the sky because of the dense canopy. With enough people on the ground, I think you can cover it and find her,” said Weltman. 

The Maui Fire Department called off their search on Sunday. Maui Police are the lead investigators of this case and a spokesman tells us there are no updates at this time, but officials will continue to follow up on all new leads. 
 

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