Chuck Morris, who played the drums for the Colorado jam band Lotus, and his son, Charley, vanished while kayaking in Arkansas. The two were reported missing on Thursday, March 16, after they did not return from their trip to Beaver Lake. The pair were last seen at 11:00 a.m. as they were traveling through the Los Bridge area.
According to Jesse Miller, one of Chuck’s bandmates, they had just finished a multi-city tour; Chuck was home for vacation and he and his family had decided to travel to Beaver Lake to relax and unwind. His wife, Jennifer Thompson, said they thought it would be a good idea for “the boys” to go kayaking while she and their daughter went into town.
When the pair arrived home, Chuck and Charley were nowhere to be seen. At first, she and her daughter weren’t too alarmed as they might just be “having a great time” but they grew increasingly concerned as time passed. After a few hours, they entered “crisis mode” and began to drive around the lake, in search of the father and son.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to find them, which prompted her to call the police later that same day.
Rescue crews were immediately dispatched to the areas, where they searched for Chuck and Charley, using sonar, dogs, drones, and helicopters, Neighbors also offered to use their boats to help with the rescue.
On the first night, rescue teams recovered a kayak and the following day, they recovered Chuck’s coat and hat. However, those are the only items they’ve been able to find so far.
During the rescue efforts, family and friends of Lotus have also begun to offer their support online. A GoFundMe campaign has also been started to help the family with their expenses. As of Tuesday evening, it has already raised more than $87,000.
According to Lt. Shannon Jenkins, the two are presumed dead and rescue crews will later be working to recover the bodies, though the operation will be scaling down over the next few days. Given the circumstances, police believe the pair most likely drowned after one fell into the water and the other tried to save him. This theory was supported by cadaver dogs, which located the believed site of the drowning. The stormy weather, which resulted in strong currents and three-foot waves, also made the situation likely.