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Craig Strickland, Backroad Anthem Singer, Found Dead at 29 After Oklahoma Storm

Country singer had gone duck hunting over the weekend with a friend, who was also killed

Craig Strickland, lead singer and guitarist for the country rock band Backroad Anthem, was found dead on Monday more than a week after his boat capsized in Oklahoma’s Kaw Lake during a violent winter storm. He was 29.

Strickland’s wife, Helen, confirmed the news on Twitter. “#CraigStrickland was found today,” she wrote. “He is safe with his Father in Heaven. Thank you Lord for leading us to him today. I will praise you, Amen.”

Strickland and a friend, Chase Morland, had left their native Arkansas late Saturday, December 26, for a duck hunting trip in Kay County, Oklahoma, despite weather forecasts of Winter Storm Goliath.

Their boat was found in Kaw Lake north of Tulsa just after midnight on the morning of December 28. Morland’s body was recovered by officials at around 11 a.m. that day.

Search efforts for Strickland continued for several days, with sonar boats and dogs being called in for assistance.

Late on December 26, Morland sent out a tweet that seemed to foreshadow tragedy: “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm.”

The close friends were last seen roughly two hours later, when they left for the trip in Kay County, Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

On December 28, Strickland’s wife, Helen, reported on Twitter that “Craig’s dog Sam has been found. His boat has been confirmed as being capsized. They are still searching for Craig. Please keep praying.”

That night, the band’s official Facebook page also asked fans to pray for their missing colleague, a native of Springdale, Arkansas.

“Please join us tonight at the Cross Church Springdale student building as we pray for Craig, the families, and his safety,” the message read. “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.”

The other members of Backroad Anthem are Toby Freeman, Eric Dysart, Josh Bryant, Brandon Robold and Isaac Senty.

Backroad Anthem had been scheduled to play at the Rev Room in Little Rock, Arkansas, on New Year’s Eve. They’ve performed with notable country music artists including Justin Moore and Dierks Bentley.

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