A couple of days ago, one of our group sent me a message on XBox Live. Chuck had gone missing in the Alaskan wilderness. He went out snow machining and hasn't been seen since.
Chris would have been riding with his younger brother and the others on Saturday, but that morning the handlebar on his machine snapped.
The rest of the crew left him behind at the cabin where they were staying, roaring off with the brothers' stepfather leading the way and Chucky riding a machine he'd bought only recently.
"I'm usually the last rider out there to make sure nobody get left behind," Chris said, but on Saturday Chucky brought up the rear. The older men Chucky was following told troopers they last saw him riding away from the cabin in the opposite direction. Chris said he thinks it's more likely they simply ran too fast for Chucky to keep up.
Weather hammered the search from the beginning. A trooper helicopter could only get up in the air on some of the days, and deep wet snow made travel difficult for the searchers on snowmachines.
"We got over 28 inches of snow since the search started," said Sgt. Troy Shuey, supervisor of the trooper post in Talkeetna.
Chucky, whose full name is Charles Palmer Jr., leaves behind three daughters: a 9-year-old and twin 10-year-olds.
Chucky's father, Chuck Palmer Sr., said he sometimes wished he could have been the kind of caring father Chucky was. Chucky would comb his daughters' hair, read to them, just talk to them, Chuck said.
After riding the hills for days searching for his brother, Chris said he feels like he's barely keeping it together.
"My brother's out there fucking starving," Chris said. "How am I going to eat?"
On Wednesday night the brothers' mother, Lisa Rearick, was at her home in Wasilla. When asked about her middle son, she answered in a very small voice.
"We're still praying for a miracle. We haven't given up hope," she said.
Sounds like Chuck is gone. He was a really nice guy and a father of young kids. Very sad.