Jeff's disappearance appears to be the result of swimming in a dangerous section of water that joins Memphis with the Mississippi River. Jeff and a friend, Keith Foti, were on their way to a local rehearsal studio where Jeff and his band were preparing to record a new album. After getting something to eat at a Memphis restaurant, Jeff and Keith stopped at the marina, where he had gone swimming on previous occasions. In a playful mood, Jeff entered the water fully clothed while laughing and singing, wading and swimming for approximately 15 minutes. Keith remained on the shore and in visual and vocal contact with Jeff.
When passing boats created waves, Keith momentarily turned away from Jeff to adjust the location of their portable radio/cassette player to prevent it from getting wet. At this point, Keith lost contact with Jeff and called out for him for 10 minutes before calling the police. Memphis authorities believe that an undertow caused by the passing boats swept Jeff away from his original location and, ultimately, underwater.
Memphis authorities have stated that there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol playing any part in this tragedy. Jeff's mother, Mary Guibert, and his managers, Dave Lory and George Stein, are urging everyone not to speculate beyond the facts of this incident or believe any rumors that might circulate. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
According to Mary Guibert, "It has become apparent to me that my son will not be walking out of the river. It is now time to make plans to celebrate a life that was golden. I ask people who cared about Jeff to please be honorable and faithful to his memory, to send their best wishes to Jeff and to all of us who are mourning his passing."
A memorial service is being planned, and appropriate details will be released in the next few weeks.