Country singer Craig Strickland is missing after going on a duck hunting trip in Oklahoma. Strickland and long-time friend Chase Morland, 22, went hunting during a severe winter storm in the Tulsa area of Kay County. Morland’s body was found washed ashore after their boat capsized. Strickland is the lead singer of the country-rock band Backroad Anthem.
Craig Strickland is feared dead, and a search for the country singer was suspended Monday evening due to the Oklahoma snow storm. Randy Strickland, the singer’s father, told the media that the search is slated to resume today. Strickland, 29, and Chase Morland were last spotted about two hours after they embarked on their duck hunting trip, according to a report by MSN.
— Taste of Country (@TasteOfCountry) December 29, 2015
Before leaving on the Oklahoma duck hunting trip, Morland posted a tweet about their plans.
“In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm”
Randy Strickland also said that a boat with sonar capabilities was being added to the search efforts today. The worried father said that the family is hoping “against all odds” that Craig is alive and is attempting to envision a scenario where he could have survived the boat capsizing and the Oklahoma winter storm.
— Amy Kaufeldt (@Fox35Amy) December 29, 2015
Strickland’s bandmates include Brandon Robold, Eric Dysart, Toby Freeman, Josh Bryant, and Isaac Senty. Backroad Anthem was scheduled to perform a New Year’s Eve gig at the Rev Room in Little Rock.
A Backroad Anthem Facebook page post urged fans to pray for the safe return of Craig Strickland
“Please join us tonight at the Cross Church Springdale student building as we pray for Craig, the families, and his safety. It starts at 9 p.m. and everyone is welcome. If you can’t make it, please join us in prayer at 9 from home. The power of prayer is huge.”
Strickland is a native of Springdale, Arizona. Kay County Sheriff Joel Kerns said searchers are also looking for a man whose vehicle was washed away from a country road in flood waters. The county is located in the southeastern region of the state, Fox News reports.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 29, 2015
Backroad Anthem formed in 2012, according to the band’s website. The six acquaintances shared a vision for “doing country music their way” and achieved early success quickly. Just six months after playing their first performance together, Craig Strickland and his group opened for such country music notables as the Eli Young Band, the Casey Donahew Band, and Dustin Lynch. Backroad Anthem shared a stage at the Thunder Mountain Country Music Festival with Luke Bryan and Toby Keith. They released their first album in the spring of 2013. The offering featured five studio recorded songs and two live bonus tracks.
The band’s website goes on to state that the group felt they had caught “lightning in a bottle” after playing together and were pleased with the natural way they could engage a crowd and offer a fulfilling experience to members of the audience.
“With these pieces in place, we’ll be able to build a fan base that will fall in love with our music,” Craig Strickland was quoted as saying on the band website. “The stars are aligning for this band.”
Winter Storm Goliath swept through the Southwest and sparked blizzard conditions in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. The massive winter storm caused a thick layer of ice to form on roadways and three feet of snow to fall in some areas of the Southern Plains, Weather.com reports.
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