The search for missing boater Tyler Doyle entered its 14th day on January 26, 2023, following his disappearance in rough waters near Myrtle Beach, North Carolina.
Doyle allegedly went duck hunting in the North Jetties, near where the Intracoastal Waterway meets the Atlantic Ocean, in a jon boat. He went missing not long after that.
The 23-year-old was accompanied by an unidentified companion who was rescued from the jetty. Doyle was wearing khaki pants and a camo jacket when he went missing, according to the Coast Guard.
A friend quickly set up a GoFundMe page to help the family, which raised approximately $30,000. The page was updated to stop donations after a request from Tyler Doyle’s wife, Lakelyn Doyle, stating:
“She (Lakelyn) would rather go without than deal with drama and rumours while searching for her missing husband. Tyler’s whereabouts are still unknown. Thank you all again, but as a woman 30 weeks pregnant, she can’t handle everyone’s opinions and stress on her body for the sake of the baby.”
The update informed everyone that Lakelyn was 30 weeks pregnant. Rumors circulated after the GoFundMe update that the wife had fled town with the money. Some even speculated that she had murdered her husband. @rachelpoo81, a Twitter user, called the missing person’s case a “hoax,” writing:
Tyler Doyle’s mysterious disappearance has sparked some wild rumours
Social media has now become a platform for netizens to speculate and debate what happened to Tyler Doyle. Some chastised the family, particularly his wife, for her allegedly suspicious behaviour, while others wondered what happened to the GoFundMe donations.
Many people wondered why Doyle’s friend had been rescued but not him.
Some speculated that he was murdered by his rescued friend, while others suspected the wife.
A few internet users compared it to another case in which a man went missing but was later discovered to have been murdered. Others raised Tyler’s previous court case, wondering if the incident was a ruse to get away with it.
Here are some Reddit comments about the incident:
Tyler Doyle’s family addresses rumours
A week after Tyler went missing, his wife, Lakelyn Doyle, revealed on Facebook that many of his belongings, including his wallet, driver’s licence, and decoy ducks, were discovered floating in the water. Authorities, however, asked her to remove the post.
Following online speculation and juvenile deductions, Surf City Police deleted a Facebook post addressing the issue. They went on to say:
“We have never found any items in or around our immediate area that may or may not belong to Mr. Doyle.”
Reed Doyle, Tyler Doyle’s brother, also took to TikTok to deny the rumours, writing:
“The keyboard warriors out here who want to talk sh*t on Facebook or TikTok and just piece things together as they see it, you know you’re not helping the cause.”
He stated that tragedy primarily affects family and loved ones, and he urged everyone to refrain from speculating and spreading misinformation.
The 23-year-mother old’s and grandmother told News13 that the lengthy search has been “agonising,” and that social media rumours haven’t helped.