"My husband being the adventurer that he is, we're like, 'oh, they must be having a great time'," the grieving wife said.
The hunt for a father and son who, tragically, vanished last week in Arkansas while kayaking together is now underway. The search for Jennifer Thompson's husband and son, Chuck Morris, 46, and 20-year-old Charley, five days after the two were reported missing, has changed into a body recovery operation, she told ABC News. The two are now presumed to be dead.
They most likely drowned, according to Thompson, who told ABC News that presumably one of the guys fell into the water and struggled to swim, which prompted the other to do the same. "What saved me from the beginning of this is that they died together; they were together," she told the outlet.
When the search started, they found the kayak the first night, and another the next, according to Thompson. But later, after they discovered Chuck's hat and coat, they found no further traces of the two men, per PEOPLE.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said part of its team found a kayak along with a life jacket but nothing else. https://t.co/1GYAVXaGs7— 13abc (@13abc) March 22, 2023
The family and authorities "are in agreement as to the fate and probable location of Chuck and Charley after an exhaustive search," according to a statement posted on a GoFundMe page set up to help the family, which as of March 23 had received more than $135,000. "The weather and other elements created a perfect storm on the lake, and in the lake, that was unsurvivable," the family wrote in the statement. "The community, authorities, and organizations that specialize in finding loved ones are continuing recovery efforts to bring Chuck and Charley home."
Chuck, a percussionist for the band Lotus, came home from a tour, and Charley, a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, was also at home for break, so the family planned a trip. On March 16, Thompson told the source that despite Beaver Lake's strong currents and waves, the pair ventured out on the water while she and their 12-year-old daughter went into town, per ABC News. "We thought it would be a great idea for Chuck and Charlie to be able to get on the kayaks before a storm hit," Thompson said, adding that initially when they didn't return home, she thought, "My husband being the adventurer that he is, we're like, 'oh, they must be having a great time'."
Chuck's bandmate, Jesse Miller, spoke to ABC about the grief the bandmates are feeling. "I guess the first couple of days I really just wanted to hold out some hope," Miller recalled. "You know, as that dwindled, and the reality became more real, I guess the grief started to set in a little bit more," he added.
In a statement, Chuck and Charley's family expressed gratitude at the outpouring of love they've been getting. "As a family, we are deeply grieving but have been heartened by all the love and tributes that have been sent our way for Chuck and Charley. We love you all. Please also continue supporting the Lotus community that was Chuck's passion, and the Ohio Wesleyan University community that Charley dearly loved," the statement continued. "Thank you for keeping them all in your hearts and prayers."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe