Jackson at the Groundwork Cincinnati youth employment program. (Provided by Groundwork Cincinnati)
Fauna Jackson (Provided)
MOOSE, WY (FOX19) -
The Cincinnati teenager who vanished while hiking in a national park has been found safe, according to Groundwork USA.
16-year-Fauna Jackson was volunteering at Grand Teton National Park when she took a bathroom break and disappeared Thursday morning.
The Clark Montessori High School student was discovered at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, about four miles from where she was last seen. Officials say Jackson changed her appearance - she changed her clothes and also cut and dyed her hair. Jackson fled when authorities approached her Saturday, according to the National Park Service.
"This I don't think anyone saw coming but right now we're just relieved," said Tanner Yess, a Youth Leader with Groundwork Cincinnati.
He was with Fauna before her disappearance.
"I think anyone who knows Fauna is completely aware or can attest to her spirit, her aptitude, her intelligence, her determination. She's capable of doing anything she puts her mind to, like a lot of youth," said Yess.
"Her condition appears to be good," James Bennett, Jackson's step father said. "We're just so happy to have our beloved daughter back."
Jackson's family expects to bring her home as early as Monday. "Tears of loss and remorse last night became tears of ecstatic joy," Bennett said.
She is currently being evaluated at a hospital. However, it is not clear if she sustained any injuries during her two days in the park.
Jackson left Cincinnati nine days ago, according to Robin Corathers, executive director of Groundwork Cincinnati. She was supposed to return home Friday with three other volunteers from the local Groundwork chapter.
Jackson was part of a 20-member group working with the organization on a service project inside the park.
Park officials were calling the search an "all-hands-on-deck" effort involving multiple agencies, including the FBI. Around 100 people scanned the park Friday along with specialized dog teams and helicopters.