The bodies of Lotus percussionist Chuck Morris and his son, Charley Morris, have been recovered 24 days after the pair disappeared during a March 16th kayaking trip on Beaver Lake in Arkansas, authorities confirmed on Sunday.

As the Benton County Sheriff’s Office announced in a social media post on Sunday, April 9th, “On March 16, 2023 the Benton County Sheriff’s Office began search efforts for two missing kayakers in the area of S. Lost Bridge Village of Beaver Lake. … Major Kenneth Paul led the search efforts utilizing many resources from across the nation and organized the daily operations of these efforts. [On Saturday], efforts were combined with Carroll County MDS and Christian Aid Ministries Search and Rescue Team (CAM SAR) out of Tennessee. They were able to utilize their Underwater ROV in a challenging environment that exceeded depths of 180’. After 24 days of recovery efforts, the bodies of both Charles Morris IV (Chuck-Father) and Charles Morris V (Charley-son) have been recovered thanks to the technology and efforts by all personnel.”

Related: Resonate Suwannee Hosts Memorial Tributes To Chuck Morris & Charley Morris, More [Photos/Videos]

Earlier in the day on Sunday, prior to the Benton County Sheriff’s office announcement, Lotus took to social media to report that Charley’s body had been recovered. “Our family was informed by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office that Charley Morris has been found,” the band said. “We have concluded the cause of his death was drowning. The teams are still actively searching for Chuck Morris, but we continue to have faith in their work.” The band later updated the post to indicate that Chuck’s body had also been recovered.

In an open letter to Chuck Morris posted on March 19th, founding Lotus guitarist Mike Rempel, who left Lotus in 2021 to pursue a career in wellness and mindfulness education, pondered what Chuck might have said in this heart-wrenching situation: “I imagine that you would wish us to be comforted rather than contorted in pain. I imagine that you would wish something like, ‘Just be there for each other. Let this moment be a heart-centered moment. May this moment remind you of the preciousness of life. May your fears and your tears bring you more deeply into your humanity and clarify your vision such that you clearly see the beauty that is your existence.’ That’s how I imagine your wish for us—all of us that love you.”

While search efforts continued, authorities on March 21st reported that the mission objective had pivoted from rescue to recovery. The following day, the members of Lotus offered statements eulogizing Chuck and Charley.

“We spent over 20 years in a band with Chuck,” wrote Jesse Miller. “We lived together for parts of that, traveled the country and across oceans, felt the joy of performing in front of thousands of fans and pains of sleeping on floors and trying to repair a broken trailer in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm. It was a journey, and it wouldn’t have been the same without Chuck bringing his unique mind, energy, spirit and smile to it.”

“Chuck was a beast on percussion and in life,” added Luke Miller. “He brought an energy every night that fed so many people’s souls. He joined Lotus back in a small Indiana town, Goshen. Our little group from the rural Midwest ventured out into the world to play music. If our touring van broke down, or if our shared band house needed to be fixed, Chuck was always the first to jump in on the work.”

Luke continued, “I was there when Jenny and Chuck brought Charley home from the hospital. And we saw him grow up to be an incredibly smart and talented young man. I traveled with Chuck to all the corners of the U.S., to Japan, Amsterdam, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and so many other places. He was always ready to have fun, make new friends, and play music. He brought a bright-eyed adventurous spirit wherever he went. Chuck was truly a one-of-one. He and Charley are incredibly dearly missed. Rest in Percussion / Rest in Power / Rest In Peace.”

“One of the highest achievements of a musician is to find your own voice on an instrument. Chuck’s distinct personality was so strong that it shined through in his musicianship, as it did in all elements of his life,” said Mike Greenfield. “I can easily say that Chuck was the most unique person I have ever met, and it was fascinating to witness how his dynamic energy created opportunities for him at every turn. As a percussionist, comedian, computer programmer, family man, repairer of anything that was broken, and of course as our beloved ‘wildcard’—no one did it quite like him.”

“Chuck was my drumming brother,” Greenfield added. “Over the past few days, I have been listening to a few recent shows when Chuck and I explored rhythmic banter together in exciting and unhinged ways. The profound level of connection that we had could only be manifested through years of touring and living together. Over the past two decades, we have watched each other’s families grow. Chuck, you are a wonderful father and friend. I will always treasure our time together.”

Related: Lotus Announces Benefit Concerts For Chuck & Charley Morris, Postpones Tour

In the time since, Lotus suspended its planned 2023 spring tour and announced a set of four benefit concerts set to honor the memory of Chuck and Charley Morris and raise funds to assist their family. The first two benefit concerts are set for The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO on April 21st and 22nd. Both Denver shows will feature an extensive lineup of special guests, including former bandmates, collaborators, and friends of Lotus and Chuck’s. The initial slate of participating artists includes Mike RempelSteve ClemensGabe OttoJeff Franca (Thievery Corporation), Allen Aucoin (The Disco Biscuits), Dave Watts (The Motet), Jeff Lloyd (Heavy Pets), Rohan Prakash (Hive Mind), Wilson (Giant Walking Robots), Scotty Zwang (Ghost Light), Jeff PetersonAnthony Fugate, and members of Genetics with more to be announced. To ensure that the majority of net ticket sales go to the Morris family, Live Nation is offering “fee free” tickets to the Denver shows.

In addition to the Denver concerts, Lotus has shifted two previously announced shows to now serve as benefits. The band’s May 5th appearance at XL Live in Harrisburg, PA and its performance the next night at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY will now also raise money for Chuck and Charley’s family. Tickets for all four Lotus benefit shows are on sale here. Rescheduled dates for the remainder of the postponed Lotus shows have yet to be announced.

On March 31st Live Oak, FL’s Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park during Lotus’s previously scheduled set time at Resonate Suwannee festival, the stage remained dark as friends, fans, and musicians alike came together for a memorial drum circle. View photos from the moving memorial here.

A fund has been set up to support the Morris family’s financial needs. Donations can be made here.

We love you, Chuck and Charley. Our hearts and minds are with the extended Morris/Lotus family today.


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