The severity of the situation in Haiti, said Hughes, prompted the use of a private search team.
"It is not routine in any way to use this sort of service," said Hughes. "Only in extraordinary circumstances would you have this ability."
Hughes said that the contractors arrived Wednesday morning on two helicopters, but did not know how many people were involved in the rescue effort.
Hartwick is the dean of the schools' college of education and Bruno is an assistant professor in the College of Liberal Education.
A MySpace page appearing to belong to Gianacaci was last visited on Jan.3, and lists elementary education as her major. A quote on the pages says, "These are the best days of our lives."
The group of 14 had been staying at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. The hotel has been badly damaged by the quake.
Several family members who had children traveling to Haiti convened at Lynn University to wait for news together, said Hughes.
Around the country, student groups and missionaries are working to account for members of their communities.
Two University of Florida students, Jon Bougher and Roman Safiullin, were missing in Haiti but have since been found alive.
Bougher's sister, Gabrielle, told ABC Radio that her brother's rescue was "just such a miracle."
"I'm happy," she said. "You know, my brother is my best friend, so I'm glad that he's safe and I just can't wait to actually hear his voice and have him back here in the U.S."
John Wright, a dean at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications said, "I didn't sleep well last night, but I will tonight."
"They are alive. They are safe. My first question is how soon can we get them out of there...we don't know that yet... we're confident that we'll be able to get them home soon," he added.
In Indianapolis, two churches are still waiting to find out whether members on mission trips to Haiti are safe, according to the Associated Press. The nine-person group was working at an orphanage 45 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Andrew Foster, an eighth grader from Virginia Beach is missing in Haiti with an older relative, according to the child's father, Robert Foster.
Foster said he spoke to his son just after the earthquake hit when he was driving with his uncle from the airport in Haiti. The last he heard was when the uncle said, "Oh, my god, I have to get out of here," before the line went dead.
Two New York University students, Nathalie Pierre and Greg Childs, who arrived in Haiti just before the earthquake have not been heard from since.
The missing are both history students, doing research in Haiti as part of their doctoral program.