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Missing Maui hiker Amanda Eller has ties to St. Petersburg

Her LinkedIn profile says she was previously a physical therapist at Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg.
Credit: CBS News

MAUI, Hawaii — The search for a missing hiker on Maui continues with little evidence on her whereabouts, reports CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV.

Amanda Eller was believed to be hiking Wednesday on a trail in the Makawao Forest Reserve, 12 miles from her home in Haiku. She was reported missing Thursday when she didn't return home. Her vehicle was found in reserve's parking lot with her cellphone and wallet inside.

Eller's LinkedIn profile says she was a physical therapist at Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg, a position she started in June 2014. Before working at Bayfront, her profile says she worked as the director of physical therapy services at U.S. HealthWorks in Tampa from August 2012 until June 2014. 

Dozens of first responders were dispatched and searched the area on foot and by air for the 35-year-old physical therapist. "We need boots on the ground and little prayers on the side," friend and search organizer Sarah Haynes said.

Eller's parents offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return prior to their scheduled arrival in Maui Sunday with other members of the Maryland-based family, according to The Maui News.

Maui police said Sunday they were stopping active involvement in search efforts but would follow up on potential leads, adding that the FBI was assisting with technical aspects of the investigation.

But, friends and family members are pressing on with the search.

"It's not out of the ordinary for her to go there, not out of the ordinary for her to leave her belongings in her car, including her cell phone. She likes to unplug," Haynes said.

"It appears to us at this point that she is either way off the trail -- you know, having gotten injured, or fallen maybe -- or somebody interrupted her between her car and her run," Haynes added.

Trained search dogs, drones, equestrian groups, helicopters and the mother of another missing Maui woman were taking part in the search.

Kimberlyn Scott spent her Mother's Day with the Eller family in hopes of finding Amanda. Scott's daughter Carly "Charli" disappeared in 2014. Only fragments of Carly's jaw bone were ever found. Carly's boyfriend Steven Capobianco is serving a life term for her murder.

"People did this for me. People came out on Valentine's Day and dedicated their couple's day to searching for Charli and I definitely owe that back," said Scott. "There's every reason to keep on searching; we have not found her."

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