Wife of Merrell Boot Co. Co-founder and Stepgrandson Missing in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon.
Shutterstock / Galyna Andrushko

It’s been three days since the wife of a co-founder of Merrell Boot Co. and her stepgrandson went missing during a family trip to Grand Canyon National Park, according to reports from the Associated Press.

On April 15, 62-year-old Lou-Ann Merrell, wife of Randy Merrell, and her stepgrandson, 14-year-old Jackson Standefer, lost their footing while crossing a water trail and fell into Tapeats Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River. The two were with Jackson’s mother, Julie Standefer, and Randy Merrell when the incident occurred.

Officials were first notified of the event when an emergency GPS locator beacon was set off below the canyon’s North Rim, according to a National Park Service representative.

Family members continue to hold out hope that the two will be found, since Merrell is considered an experienced hiker. So far, however, only their backpacks have been discovered.

Three ground teams, plus a helicopter, a drone and a motorized boat, have been tapped for the rescue efforts.

Standefer is an eighth-grade student at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Randy Merrell formed Merrell Boot Co. with two partners in 1981. He sold his shares in the firm in 1986. He and his wife currently live on their horse ranch in Utah. Today, Randy operates Merrell Footlab, a custom boot shop and pedorthic lab in Vernal, Utah.