McCallie students pray for safe return of missing classmate and - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

McCallie students pray for safe return of missing classmate and his step-grandmother

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

An intense search continues for a missing McCallie School student and his step-grandmother who were swept into rushing water in the Grand Canyon National Park. 

READ MORE | UPDATE: Search for missing McCallie student, grandmother, in Grand Canyon continues

Jackson Standefer, 14, and Lou-Ann Merrell, 62, have been missing since Saturday night.

Middle School students at McCallie School had a special prayer Tuesday morning for the missing pair and their safe return home.

“It was a full room of young men hugging each other. It was a very special, somber but hopeful time,” said Middle School Chaplain Jim Suddath.

The school tweeted a picture of the touching moment.

Standefer is in 8th grade and has attended McCallie School since he was in 6th grade.

During that time he has been involved in many sports and activities including rowing, baseball, lacrosse and Young Life, to name a few.

“Jackson is an extremely well-liked young man with lots of friends,” Suddath told Channel 3.

Suddath says teachers and counselors continue to have conversations with students who are struggling to deal with the situation. 

Wednesday afternoon, the National Park Service said it had 20 searchers on the ground and was using a search helicopter and raft to help find the missing hikers.

The Merrell Shoe Company is providing climbers to speed up the search and rescue process and a Chattanooga drone specialist flew to the Grand Canyon National Park to help too.

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