The search for Fauna Jackson is intensifying as night fell on the second day after the teen went missing in the expansive Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
The 16-year-old girl was working with a service group in the park when she disappeared early Thursday morning, WCPO reported. Fauna, who is from Cincinnati but was spending the summer working with a group called Groundwork USA, had told co-workers she was taking a bathroom break at around 8:45 a.m. on Thursday but was not seen again.
The search for Fauna Jackson started shortly after her disappearance on Thursday morning with more than 60 people taking part, then continued in the park overnight, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Rangers conducted a search of the immediate area but found no sign of Fauna Jackson. Denise Germann, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, noted that the search included ground crews, dog search teams, helicopters, and vehicle and engine patrols.
“It’s all hands on deck,” Germann told East Idaho News. “All of our employees are assisting in the search and helping look for Fauna.”
The search also included additional aerial patrols from the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol, KSL reported.
The efforts intensified on Friday, with 100 people joining the search for Jackson.
Jackson was part of a group that works with the National Parks Service and Environmental Protection Agency along with local groups to improve the environment, WCPO reported. Robin Corathers, director of Groundwork in Cincinnati, said Jackson was selected to be part of a small group that was working in Grand Teton National Park for an eight-week project that included trail and vegetation projects as well as historic structure preservation, park officials said.
“She’s a delight to be around,” Corathers said of Fauna. “She got along very well with her peers. She did outstanding work for us the eight week period. And she showed a lot of leadership potential.”
Those who worked closely with Fauna Jackson said it was out of character for her to go missing. She was known as a dedicated employee with a passion for the environment.
“She’s very strong minded, very smart, able to handle all the tasks we had over the course of the summer — trail-building, invasive removal, restoration work,” said Alan Edwards, who also worked with Groundwork Cincinnati. “Honestly, one of the best employees we had and that’s why she got to go.”
Officials at Grand Teton National Park offered an update to the Fauna Jackson search on Friday night, saying “our thoughts are with her family, friends, and fellow Groundwork USA members.” The post also noted the mission of Groundwork USA and its long history of work in the park.
“Groundwork USA is a national organization dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods and transforming community liabilities into community assets. Their youth Green Teams work in their own neighborhoods doing hands on conservation and restoration work.
“For the past two years, high performers from Green Teams around the country have spent time in Grand Teton National Park doing service projects and learning the global connections to their local conservation work. Ms Jackson was last seen while participating in one of these projects.”
The search for Fauna Jackson has generated interest not only around Grand Teton National Park, but also back at her home in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Public Schools even issued a statement about her disappearance, noting, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Fauna and her family, and the Clark community, during this difficult time.”
Authorities said Fauna Jackson is 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds with blonde hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing tan pants and a green T-shirt that said “Find Your Park” and “Groundwork USA.” Anyone with information about her possible whereabouts is asked to call the National Park Service at (307) 739-3356.
[Image via Grand Teton National Park]