Extra help has been called in as the search continues for a McCallie School eighth grader and his step-grandmother, who were swept away in a creek at the Grand Canyon on Saturday.
McCallie issued this statement on Wednesday morning:
The families of Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell have asked McCallie School to release the following statement Tuesday evening, April 18, 2017, as an update on the ongoing search in the Grand Canyon for McCallie School eighth-grader Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell:
We would like to thank everyone from around the world who have offered encouragement, support and prayers during this difficult time as we continue to search for Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell.
The search for Jackson and LouAnn continues, and the overwhelming support has helped us remain positive throughout this process.
The National Park Service has been working around the clock on rescue efforts since the beginning of this ordeal, and the Standefer and Merrell families are grateful for their tireless dedication, hard work and support.
In an effort to bolster the existing search efforts, the Merrell shoe company has been working over the past several hours to provide climbers and rescuers to continue the search. These volunteers will help speed the search efforts, and we are grateful for their assistance.
In addition, the Standefer family is flying in specialists from Chattanooga-based Skytec Aerial Data Specialists with a Sky Ranger military-grade drone equipped with extra capabilities to aid in the search. We remain hopeful that these efforts will help us find Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell very soon.
Thank you as always for respecting the family's need for privacy as we work through this difficult time. Your continued love, prayer and support are greatly appreciated.