Country Singer Feared Dead, Friend's Body Found After Pair Went Hunting During Storm
Friends, family and fans of a Arkansas country singer are holding out hope that he will be found alive, after the body of his friend was found by searchers following a storm that capsized their boat.
Craig Strickland, 29, the lead singer of the band Backroad Anthem, and his friend Chase Morland, 22, went on a duck hunting trip late Saturday in Kay County.
“In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma,” Morland tweeted Saturday, adding a smiling emoticon and the hashtag
Morland’s body was found on Sunday by emergency crews searching for the pair.
The company that employed Morland released a statement on his passing, writing on Facebook: “The Gellco Outdoors family is saddened at the loss of Chase Morland. Chase had only been at Gellco for a short time in our archery department. Chase will be missed by all here at Gellco. Chase lost his life in a duck hunting accident in Ponca City, Ok. Our prayers and sympathy go out to the Morland family during this time of loss. We ask all of our customers to remember this family at this time”.
The band also posted about Morland's death, writing on Facebook: "Everyone please say special prayers for the family of Chase Morland. They were very close friends and it is such a heartbreaking loss."
Strickland’s dog, Sam, went on the trip and was found safe, Strickland’s father, Randy Strickland, said.
“Thanks for your prayers, love and support, we are all at the Kay county sheriff’s office! Our dog Sam did make it and is with us, nothing I can share on Craig or Chase at this time! Roads are very bad, sheriffs office power is out, running on generator! Love all!” his dad wrote on Facebook.
The singer's wife, former Miss Arkansas, Helen, asked fans to pray for her husband.
“'Craig is still missing. The search has been called for the night. It will resume again in the morning with a sonar boat. Still need prayers,” she wrote on Twitter Monday.
Searchers suspended the search on Monday night due to weather and fading light, News 9 reported.
“We are trying to think of a scenario where he is still alive. Hoping against the odds. We can’t even stand to think about it. We are devastated. Only God & time can put us back together,” Randy Strickland wrote on Facebook.
The South has been hit by severe storms and tornadoes for the past week.
Twenty-four hours after the pair of friends left, family became worried when the two fell out of touch.