Family members of a Hawaii yoga instructor and physical therapist are concerned foul play may be involved in the woman’s disappearance, after she vanished while possibly taking a hike.
ABC 4 reports that 35-year-old Amanda Eller disappeared on Wednesday morning after possibly going for a hike at the Makawao Forest Reserve. Police found her Toyota RAV4 with her wallet and phone inside the car in a nearby parking lot, with her car key on a tire.
Despite hundreds of search volunteers scouring through the forest, there has been no trace of Eller, and her loved ones are growing more concerned as each minute passes.
Eller’s parents, who live in North Carolina, flew to Hawaii to help find her after drones, helicopters, and dogs were utilized, but with no results. Eller’s mother, Julia, said that the situation is “a mother’s worst nightmare.”
#MISSING — A search is underway for a hiker who went missing in the Makawao Forest Reserve on #Maui. Amanda Eller was last seen on Wednesday. Police found her car in a parking lot near the #KahakapaoTrailLoop on Thursday. She is 5'7'', 140 lbs. and has brown hair and brown eyes. pic.twitter.com/24zxvjmEqD
— Mackenzie Stasko (@MackenzieStasko) May 10, 2019
“I’ve tried to stay positive. If I let myself get mired in self pity of how terrible this is, I can’t help her if I’m caught up in that.”
Julia added that her daughter is strong, both spiritually and physically, which she hopes will help her get through the situation. Yet, Amanda’s family also thinks foul play may be involved. In turn, they’re offering $10,000 for her safe return.
Sarah Haynes, the leader of a search party for Julia, said she received “about 600 calls in two hours,” about the missing woman.
“Generally speaking, it’s highly likely she’s lost or injured in this forest, and its equally as likely that she was intercepted by someone in the parking lot or on her run,” Haynes explained, according to the Washington Post.
“As the days go by, and more and more people are in the forest, we get closer and closer to foul play.”
According to Maui News, Eller’s boyfriend, Ben Konkol, said he last saw her at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. During a Sunday evening press conference, Konkol explained that Wednesday was Eller’s day off, but a friend canceled plans with her the night before. When he left that morning, Konkol was meditating.
Konkol said he didn’t realize that Eller was going hiking, but it’s not unusual for her to spend her free days in nature.
“We went through her phone, and none of the texts, none of the calls signified her going on a hike,” Konkol explained. “But it’s not unlike her. She likes to spend her days off in nature.”
Witnesses told authorities that Eller’s vehicle was spotted in the forest reserve parking lot on Wednesday morning. According to Facebook group, “Find Amanda,” Eller dropped a package off at the Haiku Post Office at around 10:19 a.m. on the morning she disappeared.
“This changes our timelines. We’ve always believed her car arrived the forest between 8 AM and 1 PM. In light of this new evidence, her car likely arrived after 10:35AM (originally posted as 11 AM, clocked the drive today),” a Facebook group post read.
Anyone with any information on Eller’s whereabouts should contact Maui Crime Stoppers at 808-242-6966 or search party leader Sarah Haynes at 415-336-4591.
[Feature Photo: Amanda Eller/Facebook]