Ark. band 'Backroad Anthem' lead singer remains missing; friend's body recovered

UNDATED (KTHV) – A member of the Arkansas band Backroad Anthem, as well as a friend, were reported missing after going on a duck hunting trip. The bandmate remains missing as of Monday evening, while the other's body has been recovered, according to officials.

A Facebook post by the band Monday morning revealed that band member Craig Strickland and his good friend, Chase Morland, headed out to go duck hunting around 2 a.m. Sunday. The post detailed that they hadn't made any contact with family over the last 24 hours. The post reads, "We are asking all fans to please pray for Craig and Chase to be found safe and sound."

Just after 2:30 p.m. Monday, the band tweeted, "Please say special prayers for Chase Morland. They were very close. Craig is still missing please pray 4 safe return."

According to THV11's CBS affiliate News9 in Oklahoma, Kay County Sheriff's Office contacted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol around 9 p.m. Sunday after they learned that the two were missing at Kaw Lake. News9 reports that Strickland and Morland's boat was found capsized just after midnight Monday. A search for the two resumed Monday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Jill Courtney with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety shared in a news release Monday evening that the body of Morland, 22, from Van Buren, was recovered from Kaw Lake just after 11 a.m. The release reads, "At this time, search efforts are still underway in attempt to locate Craig M. Strickland, a 29-year-old man from Springdale, the second subject that is missing from the vessel."

Courtney said the boat has been found, but has not been recovered as of Monday evening. Search efforts have been suspended for the day due to weather and fading lights. She said search efforts will resume Tuesday morning.

Strickland retweeted a post by Morland just before Midnight Saturday. It read, "In case we don't come back, @BackroadCraig and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm"

The band's Facebook page shows that Strickland, lead vocals and acoustic guitar player for the band, is from Alma, Ark.

Backroad Anthem was scheduled to play at Rev Room in Little Rock on New Year's Eve, but it was announced on Tuesday that the show would be cancelled. The band has shared stages with many notable country music artists including Justin Moore and Dierks Bentley.

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