Backroad Anthem country singer Craig Strickland was found dead on Monday, January 4, seven days after he was reported missing. He was 29.
A spokesperson for Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed Strickland's death to Us Weekly on Monday, revealing that his body was recovered that morning following a massive search in the Kaw Lake area north of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official also confirmed that Strickland's wife, Helen Strickland, and family had been notified.
Authorities told Us that Strickland's body was located within the original search area, which is known as Bear Creek Cove.
Strickland's wife also tweeted about her husband's death shortly after authorities confirmed the news. "#CraigStrickland was found today," the former Miss Arkansas USA shared. "He is safe with his Father in Heaven. Thank you Lord for leading us to him today. I will praise you, Amen."
Strickland had been reported missing since Monday, December 28, after he and his close pal Chase Morland ventured out for a hunting trip. Prior to their last adventure together, Morland posted an ominous tweet on Saturday, December 26, which was retweeted by Strickland. “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCraig and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm.”
A search was launched on Sunday, December 27, after a capsized boat used by the two men was found, according to local news outlet News9. The following day, Morland was found dead in Kaw Lake. Helen later shared that her husband's 9-year-old dog, Sam, refused to leave Morland's side until authorities came and claimed his body.
Craig's family members have remained vigilant and prayerful about finding him. In an interview with 40/29 on Friday, January 1, Helen said: “It’s more painful for us to think that he could be underwater. Still, we want that closure in seeing him.”
She continued to praise the OHP into Monday, sharing an Instagram video from the search. “Sam and Ryan searching the surrounding land while Randy and Garthe drove through the frozen water in today's 27 degree weather,” she wrote. “Thank you for refusing to give up."
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