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


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, SHELIA KAY  9607 BARBEE ROAD LOT 64 SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County CONTEMPT OF COURT (NON SUPPORT) --- ARMSTRONG, JOHN MELVILLE  119 FLEETWOOD DR LOOKOUT MTN, 37350  Age at Arrest: 53 years old Arresting Agency: Lookout Mountain ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Mapco Clerks Catch 1 Fake $100 Bill, Miss Another; Man Booted After Girlfriend Finds Him Asking Other Women For Nude Photos

A clerk at the Mapco on Hamill Road said a man had handed him what he thought was a hundred dollar bill and he almost gave him the change in return. The clerk said he never gave the man the money, but when he confronted the suspect he left the area. The "100 dollar bill" clearly had printed on it front and back it was for motion picture use only. The clerk also tested the obviously ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re The Angriest State

WalletHub, a financial-health website that has found it can draw a lot of attention by ranking the states on which is “fattest,” smartest, and so forth, has just announced its “sinful” rating and Tennessee churches should be ashamed of the job they are doing in making the Volunteer State a haven for puritans. Then again, our tourism may soon explode … remember Sodom & Gomorrah. ... (click for more)

Young Mocs Fall To Mercer 65-56

 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshmen Brooke Burns and Mya Long combined for 36 points in the Mocs’ 65-56 loss to Mercer in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at Hawkins Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga falls to 16-11 on the year and 7-6 in league play. The Bears, ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, are now 26-2 and 13-0 in SoCon action. ... (click for more)

Covenant Softball Wins Two In Home Opener

The Covenant softball team finally played its home opener and outlasted both the weather and visiting Judson to earn a doubleheader sweep on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Scots won 4-2 in game one, which was delayed over an hour due to heavy rain, and then recorded a 9-1 victory in the finale. Covenant (6-8) had played its first 12 games on the road or in neutral site locations. ... (click for more)