Grand Canyon Search For McCallie Student, Step-Grandmother Called Off

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Jackson Standefer
Jackson Standefer

The National Park Service has called off a search for a missing McCallie School student and his step-grandmother, family members said.

Jackson Standefer, 14, and LouAnn Merrell, 62, were washed away in a fast-flowing stream at the base of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Saturday.

Family members on Wednesday had talked of bringing in climbers and a special drone to step up the search.

The family on Thursday morning issued this statement:

"Wednesday evening, the National Park Service announced that they were calling off the search for Jackson Standefer and LouAnn Merrell, who have been missing in the Grand Canyon since Saturday evening. The families would like to thank everyone for their tremendous outpouring of love, prayers and support throughout this tragic ordeal. Please respect both families' need for privacy as they come to process and seek God's comfort during this difficult time. We believe families are forever and we will be reunited with our loved ones."

They were crossing a creek while on the Tapeats Trail when they lost their footing.

With them were the husband of Ms. Merrell and the mother of the McCallie student.

The park service has been using three ground search teams, a helicopter, a drone and an inflatable motor raft in the difficult, complex terrain.The search crews have been spending the night at the search area.

LouAnn Merrell
LouAnn Merrell


No Injuries Reported In Apartment Fire Friday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire in North Chattanooga shortly before  10 a.m.  on Friday.   When firefighters arrived at 316 Chambliss Street, light smoke was showing from the quadplex. Battalion Chief Chris Warren said the fire appears to have started on the backside of one of the apartments. Chief Warren said a neighbor was ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Managed Hunting Is Necessary In Maintaining A Stable Deer Population - And Response

I enjoy seeing the whitetail deer that we have in so many areas here in East Tennessee, but here in Hamilton County we have been approaching the maximum habitat sustainability in some places including the Enterprise South area. I make this statement due to the fact that I have seen up to 20 deer driving around in Hixson in one evening during the summer. I believe that TWRA is doing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon. There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment. Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)