Search underway for McCallie student & adults missing in Grand Canyon

McCallie School Officials confirm, one of the missing people is an eighth-grader attending the school, Jackson Standefer. (Images: Standefer's family, MGN)

UPDATE: On Wednesday, Jackson Standefer's uncle, Mark McOmie, posted an update on Facebook.

McOmie says, "In an effort to bolster the existing search efforts, the Merrell shoe brand has been working over the past few hours to help provide climbers and rescuers to continue this effort. In addition, the Standefer family is flying in Skytec with a Sky Ranger military grade drone with extra capabilities to aid in the search."

Depend on us to keep you updated as the search continues.


The National Park Service confirms a hiking party reported two members of their party missing Saturday evening in a backcountry area of the Grand Canyon National Park. The search for the pair continues on Monday.

McCallie School Officials confirm, one of the missing people is an eighth-grader attending the school, Jackson Standefer. The other missing hiker, a woman in her 60s, is a family member of Standefer's.

The Park Service says the other person missing is a 62-year-old woman.

The hikers were last seen crossing Tapeats Creek below the confluence with Thunder River when they lost footing and were swept down Tapeats Creek.

The woman was last seen wearing khaki zip-off shorts, a blue/green button down short sleeve shirt, and blue water shoes. She was carrying a homemade blue backpack with a maroon fleece and hiking poles attached.

Standefer was last seen wearing black Nike shorts, a long sleeve white Columbia t-shirt with “COLUMBIA” written on the sleeve, and navy blue Chaco sandals size 10. He was carrying a new sage green backpack.

The National Park Service is currently conducting a Search and Rescue operation. The Park service says crews were flown to the scene Sunday morning and were searching the Tapeats Creek area.

A missing persons investigation is ongoing.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to the McCallie School and was given this statement:

"We are aware of an ongoing situation involving McCallie eighth-grader Jackson Standefer, and the entire McCallie community is praying for the best. Beyond that, McCallie has no comment while we await more information on this developing situation."

That was on Sunday. McCallie released another statement on 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."

Standefer's uncle told The Associated Press on Monday that Jackson, his mother and his stepgrandparents were crossing a water trail Saturday evening when Jackson and Lou-Ann Merrell fell in and were swept away by the water.

Mark McOmie identified the stepgrandparents as Randy Merrell, founder of the popular outdoor footwear company, and his wife.

The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says in a statement that Jackson was an eighth-grader at the all-boys school.

Searchers on the ground and a helicopter and drone on Monday are trying to find the pair.

This is a developing story. Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you updates as we get them.

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