Authorities confirmed Sunday that the bodies of Chuck Morris, best known as the percussionist for the band Lotus, and his son, Charley, were recovered 24 days after the pair went missing during a kayaking trip in Arkansas.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into Morris and his son after they went missing on March 16, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
The bodies were recovered thanks to technology and the efforts of the Carroll County Mennonite Disaster Service and the Christian Aid Ministries Search and Rescue Team from Tennessee, which used remote-controlled underwater vehicles in a “challenging environment” that reached depths of 180 feet.
“Sheriff Holloway would like to thank all the men and women who donated their time and efforts to help bring closure to the family and recover the two missing men,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Our hearts go out to the Morris family, and we are thankful today that we can help bring closure,” the sheriff’s office said.
The pair went missing in mid-March while kayaking on Beaver Lake, a reservoir in the state’s northwest corner, prompting a massive recovery effort.
According to Benton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lt. Shannon Jenkins, the effort included dive crews, boats, dogs, and other resources from multiple agencies.
However, after a few days, the search turned into a recovery operation.
“This lake is a serious challenge to search,” Tony Wade, director of operations for Cajun Coast Search and Rescue, told CBS Colorado.
The lake’s water temperature had dropped to the 30s and 40s in the days following the kayakers’ disappearance, according to CBS Colorado. According to the US Coast Guard Auxillary, people can only survive in water between 35 and 40 degrees for about 90 minutes.
“You’d go into shock right away,” Wade predicted. “This is a complete recovery.”
Other Lotus members suspected Morris and his son were dead within days of their disappearance.
“We were all hoping for a miracle, but the search for Chuck and Charley has now shifted to a recovery.” “A probable location on the lake has been identified with the assistance of K9 teams, but logistical challenges such as temperature, weather, and depth have prevented a recovery thus far,” the band wrote on Twitter on March 21.
“While we are deeply saddened, we intend to honor Chuck and Charley’s lives, our memories of them, and what they meant to so many people,” the band added.