Family of Jeff Buckley Coping With Apparent Drowning

His mother asks fans to send "best wishes to Jeff."

As the search for the body

of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley

winds down, his friends and family

say they have symbolically let go and

come to grips with his probable

drowning.

The son of famed folk-music

troubadour Tim Buckley, Jeff

Buckley, who gained instant critical

acclaim after bursting on the music

scene in 1994 with his stunning debut,

Grace, was reported missing after he apparently entered dangerous waters

surrounding Memphis, Tennessee's Mud Island Harbor for a late-night swim

Thursday.

The Memphis Police now presume that Buckley is dead, Lt. Brenda Maples

of the Memphis Police Dept. told ATN this morning. Until the body is

found, Buckley will remain officially listed as "missing," Maples said,

adding that it's up to his family to go to court and have Buckley declared

officially dead.

"At this point the Memphis Police Dept. is periodically searching the banks

and the harbor of Mud Island but they are no longer using dogs, helicopters

or scuba divers," Maples said. "They are currently just using boats in their

search in case the body shows up on the shore."

A press release issued Monday by the 30-year-old rocker's label, Columbia

Records, says that "while Jeff is still officially listed as missing, his family,

close friends and advisors believe that he has drowned."

Memphis authorities have stated that, so far, there is no evidence of drugs,

alcohol or foul play in Buckley's disappearance, although it remains unclear

whether the area in which the singer was wading was safe for swimming .

Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, said of the tragedy, "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."

Ironically, Buckley's dad, who the singer tried to distance himself from for

most of his musical life, died tragically young in 1975 of a heroin overdose.

Buckley was hanging out...