Chuck and his girlfriend, Lana Stempien, left Presque Isle, Michigan, in their boat, the <i>Sea's Life</i>, on August 11, 2005. They were taking a trip from Belle River, Ontario to Mackinac Island. Stempien was the daughter of a coast guardsman and was a skilled sailor, so the trip was expected to be fairly simple. At about 1:45 p. m. , Lana called her parents and aunt via cell phone, telling them that she and Chuck were near Rogers City. They were roughly two hours from Mackinac Island, and would call when they arrived. The call never came. On August 12, 2005, the boat was found southeast of Marquette Island in northern Lake Huron with its engine idling. Stempien and Rutherford were not on board. There were no signs of struggle or foul play. Two weeks later, Stempien's body washed ashore at Hammond Bay. An autopsy determined she drowned, and had high levels of carbon monoxide in her body. There were negligible amounts of alcohol in her system.