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


Former Chamber Leader Ron Harr Is First New Contender To Apply For Rep. McCormick's Seat

Former Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce leader Ron Harr is the first new candidate for the House District 26 seat vacated by former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick. Mr. Harr was a longtime official at BlueCross Blue Shield. He picked up for the Republican primary. Rep. McCormick, who has bought a house in Nashville, unexpectedly pulled out of the race on Monday. ... (click for more)

Westside Resident Comes Home To Find Her Residence Ransacked, Vontel Haddox Sleeping On The Couch

A woman who was gone from her home on the Westside for several days said she returned to find Vontel Deon Haddox sleeping on her couch. She said Haddox told her he had been staying there with "Veronica." The woman said she checked her bedroom and that of her daughters and found they had been ransacked.  She said when she went to confront Haddox he left out of the front ... (click for more)

Never Replacing Claude Ramsey But Following His Example

When Claude made his decision not to seek reelection as the 26th District state representative I made my intention known to seek the office following him.  Immediately opponents from both parties began to qualify for that opportunity.  With Bill Bennett as my campaign manager and many of Claude’s supporters going door to door into the community, as Claude had done in his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Participation Trophies

You may remember several years back when James Harrison, a linebacker for the Steelers at the time, came home to discover his two sons, who were then ages 8 and 6, had received “participation trophies” on a sports team. Harrison, who earned his way into the NFL (he was not drafted out of Kent State yet played in five Pro Bowls), promptly loaded his sons and the bogus trophies in ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Swimmers Beat Signal Mountain For First Time

The Ooltewah Tidal Waves had another outstanding performance at their pool Monday night. They knocked off Stuart Heights on Thursday in a battle of unbeaten in the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s Blue division and they added another monumental win four days later as they defeated Signal Mountain for the first time ever. The Tidal Waves led from the opening freestyle event and ... (click for more)

CFC Wins 2-0 At Inter Nashville FC

Chattanooga FC remained undefeated in NPSL play Wednesday night, beating Inter Nashville FC 2-0 in Nashville.   David Valenciano had CFC's first goal late in the first half.  Jose "Zeca" Ferraz scored the second goal minutes before the final whistle.  This is the fourth road game in the last two weeks and they play their final rode game at New ... (click for more)