After 24 days of search and rescue efforts, the bodies of Chuck Morris, 46, and Charley Morris, 20, were recovered, to the relief of the father and son’s family.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office had issued an announcement regarding the missing kayakers last month, and on hearing the news, Jennifer Thompson, the mother and wife to the two, had briefly discussed the probable scenario that resulted in the tragedy.
On March 16, Chuck Morris and Charley Morris took their kayaks out into the Beaver Lake in Arkansas despite the cold water, strong currents and three-foot waves.
Thompson, together with their daughter, had gone into town but upon returning, they were perplexed to find the two missing. As hours passed, they eventually contacted the police, who dispatched helicopters, drones, sonar, and sniffer dogs in the immediate area.
Grappling with hope, neighbors also offered aid, using their boats to search the lake. After multiple day and night passes, the search did yield some results. They located and recovered two kayaks and belongings such as Chuck’s hat and coat, strengthening their faith that the two men were alive.
Thompson shared that the two were “beautifully gentle, loving men”. Chuck had not only fathered two children – Charley and a 12-year-old daughter – but he was also an acclaimed percussionist with the electronic-jam band Lotus.
Charley, on the other hand, was a promising individual. The Ohio Wesleyan University student was a musician, a three-season runner, a leader of the orchestra and who aspired to be a successful lawyer.
The incident brought out an outpouring of support, with friends and strangers alike giving their all to try and rescue the father and son. Donations and offerings to aid the family’s expenses poured in, along with stories of their gentle and loving nature. Though their disappearance had resulted in immense sadness amongst their loved ones Thompson says she feels peace knowing they were together.