UPDATE: Backroad Anthem's Craig Strickland's body found in Oklahoma
Craig Strickland and Chase Morland
UPDATE: BY TIM STELLOH, NBC News
(NBC News) - The body of country singer Craig Strickland was found Monday morning in northern Oklahoma after he disappeared last week during a duck hunting trip, authorities said.
Strickland, the 29-year-old frontman of Backroad Anthem, had gone on the trip to Kaw Lake with a friend, Chase Morland.
On Sunday, Dec. 27, as a powerful storm churned through Texas and the Midwest, the pair was reported missing. Morland's body was discovered in the lake the following day.
Using sonar, ground crews and a helicopter, Oklahoma Highway Patrol searched for Strickland's body last week. On Monday, Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kera Philippi said that he was found in a northwestern section of the lake known as Bear Creek Cove.
Additional details were not immediately available.
Backroad Anthem formed in 2012 as a six-member cover band playing for extra money on weekends. A year later, the group's first EP, "Small Town Fame," appeared on iTunes' top country music chart, according to the band's official Facebook page.
Fans and friends were heartbroken on Monday.
"Craig Strickland was a man, husband, bandmate, son, and friend taken way too soon," one wrote on Facebook. "I am glad that [his family] found some closure, but we all wish that you were here with us instead."
Strickland's wife, Helen, wrote on Twitter that he "is safe with his father in heaven."
#CraigStrickland was found today. He is safe with his Father in Heaven. Thank you Lord for leading us to him today. I will praise you, Amen.
PREVIOUS STORY: BY SHAMAR WALTERS and ALEXANDER SMITH, NBC News
(NBC News) - Country singer Craig Strickland has been declared missing following a duck-hunting trip in stormy conditions with a friend who turned up dead.
Officials began searching for Strickland — lead singer of country-rock group Backroad Anthem — and his 22-year-old friend Chase Morland on Sunday after they failed to return from duck-hunting on Kaw Lake, according to NBC affiliate KFOR.
Morland's body was found in the lake on Monday, according to a statement from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
It said late Monday that the search for Strickland, 29, had been called off until morning due to bad weather and fading light.
Please say special prayers for Chase Morland. They were very close. Craig is still missing please pray 4 safe retrn pic.twitter.com/pbM3qNUAWS
Backroad Anthem said on its Facebook page that the band members were "hoping against the odds" and "trying to think of a scenario where [Strickland] is still alive."
Oklahoma has been hit hard by a recent spate of deadly storms.
A message posted on what appeared to be Morland's Twitter account foreshadowed the tragedy: "In case we don't come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma."
In case we don't come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. ?? #IntoTheStorm
Saturday, January 20 2018 12:13 AM EST2018-01-20 05:13:00 GMT
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