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This undated photo provided by Mark McOmie shows Jackson Standefer. Authorities searched Grand Canyon National Park on Monday, April 17, 2017, for eighth-grader Standefer and his step-grandmother who were swept away as they tried to cross a creek during a family trip in a remote part of the park. Chief Ranger Matt Vandzura says the two lost their footing Saturday. (Mark McOmie via AP)

Rangers may have found the body of a missing boy in Grand National Park


UPDATE April 29 2:48 p.m. EST:

Nearly two weeks after two hikers went missing in Grand National Park, rangers claimed that they may have discovered the body of Jackson Standefer, the 14-year-old missing boy. On Friday, park officials were notified by a commercial river trip operator who reported that a body was found on the river.

Park rangers said that the body may be Standefer from Chattanooga, but the body has been taken to the Coconino County Medical Examiner to confirm identification. 

It still remains uncertain what happened to Standefer's stepgrandmother, 62-year-old Lou-Ann Merrell. A multiday search-and-rescue operation has been launched.

ORIGINAL STORY: Two hikers who were swept away while crossing a creek in Grand National Park are the wife of a founder of Merrell Boot Co. and her stepgrandson, the Associated Press reported. 

Authorities said the 14-year-old Jackson Standefer, and 62-year-old Lou-Ann Merrell lost their footing on Saturday while crossing Tapeats Creek.

A helicopter and a drone were dispatched to help assist with the search. Mark McOmie, Jackson's uncle, described the two missing as avid hikers and know the area well, New York Daily News reported.

"If they can get to a spot where they cannot be in the water and stay warm, she's got the skills needed to get them through it, McOmie said. "The odds aren't great. But given their skills and knowledge of the area, that will probably lead to the best possible outcome."

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