The new clues come as Amanda Eller's loved ones fear foul play, according to family friend Sarah Haynes
Amanda Eller, 35, mysteriously vanished from a Hawaii nature reserve during a routine hike on Wednesday. Five days later, her mother received a package with Eller’s name on it.
Eller apparently sent a Mother’s Day package to her mom, Julia Eller, around 10 a.m. on the day she went missing — a revelation that provides new clues into her disappearance. The family initially believed Amanda got to the Makawao Forest Reserve around 8 a.m., according to family spokesperson Sarah Haynes. As it turns out, a woman witnesses reportedly recalled seeing on a hiking trail that morning wasn’t Amanda at all.
“In light of this evidence, her car likely arrived after 10:35 a.m.,” Haynes wrote in a Facebook update on Monday. “The pet sitter of the parents of Amanda received a package at their home today. It was a Mother’s Day package from Amanda. It was filled with beautiful items and a lovely letter which included Amanda’s Love for her family and excitement about her future.”
The post continued: “The package had a print at home label but it was dropped to the Haiku post office, and scanned at the receiving counter at 10:19 AM. This changes our timelines.”
Amanda, a yoga instructor and physical therapist who lives in Haiku, Maui, was last seen around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday and was reported missing the next day when she did not return home, Maui police said. On the day she was reported missing, police found her white Toyota RAV4 in the parking lot of the reserve around 9:50 a.m., according to the statement.
“I was the last person to see her and it was Wednesday morning before I went to work … She really likes to be alone in nature too … so it’s not unlike her to do that,” Benjamin Konkol, Amanda’s boyfriend, said at a Sunday press conference.
He added: “The moment that she did not arrive home at night I knew something was wrong. It did not feel good in my body.”
Haynes has said she does not believe Konkol is involved in Amanda’s disappearance, writing on Facebook that he was at work when Amanda arrived at the reserve.
“It pains me to even have to say this. People are asking about her boyfriend since he was the last one to officially see her and of course those closest to her are looked at,” the post reads. “The family and Amanda’s friends do not feel that Ben is at all connected. For starters he is a very sweet person and they had a loving relationship. He has been working on my property and I have always known him to be kind, helpful, and of the highest integrity.”
Maui police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Hundreds joined the search for the beloved yoga instructor in the reserve, including helicopters, drones, hundreds of on-foot volunteers and tracking dogs, USA Today reported. Offshoots of the main trail contain steep drops, and the treacherous terrain features creeks, brush and ravines, complicating search efforts.
The Maui Fire Department has suspended its search for Amanda, but said it would assist in police efforts if there is new information, KHON reported. However, family and friends of the woman have continued looking, using a Facebook page titled “Findamanda” to organize search efforts.
Amanda’s parents, based in Maryland, have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return, the Associated Press reported.
On Sunday, the family wrote in a Facebook update that several hikers claimed to have seen Amanda in the area that morning, including a couple with a puppy that said Amanda even played with the pooch. However, they wrote in a follow-up post that was not the woman the witnesses said they saw.
“We were contacted by a woman who looks a lot like Amanda and was hiking in the exact areas and times these people said they saw her,” the post reads. “Luckily this woman remembers exactly what she was wearing and photographed her self in the outfit so could show the people who thought they may have seen Amanda. It appears she was the woman who pet the puppy and talked to the other hikers. Not Amanda.”
Police are looking at the situation from every angle, working to determine whether there is any foul play, according to NBC News. But Haynes told The Maui News that they are beginning to believe Amanda may have been harmed.
“Generally speaking, it’s highly likely she’s lost or injured in this forest and it’s equally as likely that she was intercepted by someone in the parking lot or on her run,” Haynes said. “As the days go by, and more and more people are in the forest, we get closer and closer to foul play.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to fund search efforts.