Steve French, former baritone singer and founding member of The Kingdom heirs, has passed away on June 22. He was 57 years-old. In what early evidence appears to be a double suicide in West Virginia. Police in Fayette County have tentatively identified the two people who jumped from the New River Gorge Bridge last week as Lindsey Hudson, 29, and Steve French, 57, both of Tennessee.
French was the emcee, owner, and a founding member of the Kingdom Heirs. Born in Mascot, Tennessee, French and his brother, Kreis, founded the group in 1981; both began performing musically at their church. He previously traveled with regional groups the Crystal River Boys and the King's Servants.
In 2002, French and his brother faced the task of replacing three key group members who had all resigned at the same time. Through skillful additions when necessary, they have managed to keep the group a fan favorite. In addition to his past responsibilities with the Kingdom Heirs, he had served on the board of directors for the National Quartet Convention.
Sevierville Police Department Public Information Officer Bob Stalhke said the couple had active capias warrants for their arrests. A capias warrant is typically issued when someone fails to appear for court. However, Stalhke would not confirm what charges led to the warrants.
Police said the couple was traveling in a car which belonged to Lindsey Hudson's father.
The identities of the couple will not be officially-confirmed until the State Medical Examiner is finished with its autopsy reports.