Amanda Eller is the 35-year-old hiker who disappeared in Maui on May 8. Two weeks after she disappeared, her mother told local media that she had been found. Julia Eller told CBS affiliate that her daughter had been discovered after having “gone a long way.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know any details to share,” said Julia Eller, Amanda’s mom, speaking to a reporter from KGMB as ashe rushed to visit her daughter in the hospital. “She had gone a long way. And that’s all I know.”
Here’s what you need to know about Julia Eller, Amanda’s mom:
1. She Said She Felt ‘Elated’ & ‘Incredibly Grateful’ After Learning Her Daughter Was Alive
Amanda Eller was discovered on Friday, May 24. Her discovery was first reported by the Facebook page FindAmanda, which is run by Amanda’s family and friends. Julia, Amanda’s mother, said that she was so happy that she couldn’t even put her emotions into words. “Elated. Excited. Extatic,” she said. “I can’t even put it into words. I’m so incredibly grateful.”
The Facebook post announcing that Amanda had been found said, “URGENT UPDATE! Amanda has been found. She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest- way way out. somewhere way far above Twin Falls. Between two waterfalls down a deep ravine in a creek bed. Chris and Javier spotted her and she spotted them, waving them down. She is being air evacuated now. She just talked to her father on the phone. Amanda Eller is ALIVE!!!!”
2. Amanda Sent Julia a Mother’s Day Card on the Morning of Her Disappearance
Amanda Keller vanished on May 9. That morning, the 35 year old yoga instructor had mailed a mother’s day card to her mom. A family friend, Sara Haynes, wrote on Facebook that Amanda’s card was “filled with beautiful items and a lovely letter which included Amanda’s Love for her family and excitement about her future.”
Amanda mailed the card at about 10AM on May 9, just before setting off on a hike in the Makawao Forest Reserve. Amanda’s friends and family said she often took hikes alone and that it wasn’t unusual for her to look for peace and solitude in nature. However, Amanada vanished and was not heard from for several weeks. Finally on May 24, her mother, Julia, told local media that she had been found alive.
3. Julia Says She Struggled with Doubts but Managed to Hold on to Hope That Her Daughter Was Alive
Julia Eller says that during the two weeks her daughter was missing, she suffered doubts and fears about Amanda. But, she says, she always managed to hold on to hope that her daughter was still alive.
“It’s been a normal range of emotions, of being fearful that the worst could happen,” Julia told Honolulu ABC affiliate KITV last week. “I don’t want to be there. I do firmly believe that Amanda is still alive, but occasionally those doubts creep in and I try to dispel them as I can.”
4. She Is Originally from Louisiana & Now Lives in North Carolina
Julia and John Eller, Amanda’s parents, moved to Southport, North Carolina in 2016. They were both originally from Louisiana. Julia Eller graduated from Louisiana Tech University and earned a second degree in computer science from Louisiana State University. She spent 25 years working for the Water Environment Federation before becoming an independent consultant in the same field, according to her LinkedIn page.
Julia and John are avid travelers who often post photos of their exotic vacations on social media.
5. She & John Raised Their Daughter in Mechanicsville, Maryland
Julia and John Eller are originally from Louisiana. They raised their daughters, Amanda and her younger sister Alicia, in Mechanicsville, Maryland. Amanda moved to Maui as an adult. Julia and John moved to North Carolina in 2016. They rushed to Hawaii as soon as they learned that Amanda, 35, had disappeared while she was on a solo hike on May 9.