The lead singer of country band Backroad Anthem and friend departed on a hunting trip this past weekend and were declared missing after failing to contact with family members for over 24 hours.
Craig Strickland and friend Chase Morland headed to Oklahoma for duck hunting with Strickland's labrador, Sam. On Sunday, the boat they were using was found capsized in a lake.
According to local the local sheriff, the body of 22-year-old Morland was found on Monday afternoon. Curiously, a beam of hope was also found alongside him.
In a post to social media, Strickland's wife Helen revealed that their dog Sam had been discovered next to Morland's body.
For everyone wanting to know, Sam is fine. He was a brave boy. He wouldn't leave Chase's body until the Warden found him.— Helen Strickland (@HelenWisner) December 29, 2015
While Strickland still has not been located, Authorities confirmed with E! News that this remains a search and rescue mission, not a search and recover.
Craig's dog Sam. pic.twitter.com/W09bACtsyy— Helen Strickland (@HelenWisner) December 29, 2015
Helen has received an outpouring of support from family, friends, and the country music community during this difficult time. Band-mate Toby Freeman spoke with People about what discovering Sam means to them.
"Craig's dog being found alive is a very good sign. That's a piece of hope that we're actually clinging on to. Dog being man's best friend is a saying that's so common, but it's actually so true in this case," he says. "Sam's an older lab and for him to make it in such harsh conditions—it's just so amazing, and we're clinging on to that."
The search for Craig Strickland has been called off again for Tuesday night due to weather and visibility, but will continue in the morning.
We are sending our thoughts to Strickland's family and friends during this very trying time and praying for a safe recovery of the country star.
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