Backroad Anthem’s lead singer Craig Strickland has been found dead after an extensive search that began with an ill-fated hunting trip at 2 a.m. on Sunday, December 27th. He was 29-years-old.
Strickland, along with friend Chase Morland when on a duck hunting excursion at Kaw Lake in Oklahoma on the 27th, and never returned. Chase Morland had posted an ominous tweet right before the two left, saying, “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm,” right as a major winter storm was approaching the region. Search teams found the body of Chase Morland and the overturned boat shortly after the search began, and found the dog that had accompanied the pair on the trip, leaving hope in the minds of Craig Strickland’s family that the singer would be found alive.
Search teams worked extensively to locate Strickland throughout the New Years Eve weekend as friends, fans, and family held prayer vigils for the missing singer. But on Monday, January 4th, the body of Strickland was found along the shoreline of Kaw Lake, north of where the boat had capsized. The 168 miles of shore length had made the search especially difficult for search and recovery teams.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office has also determined that the cause of death for Chase Morland was drowning and exposure to freezing temperatures, though it could take another 4-8 weeks for the full autopsy report to be released. An autopsy will also be performed on Craig Strickland.
Backroad Anthem was a Bro-Country-style band based in Arkansas that had shared the stage with Justin Moore, Dierks Bentley, and many more. Strickland’s wife Helen Wisner was Miss Arkansas USA 2014.