Investigators say the 32-year-old was with a friend when his canoe capsized. The two struggled to flip the boat, deciding instead to swim to shore in the frigid water. According to the friend, Napier said his legs were giving out.
"He said he got to the bank and when he looked back, Chad wasn't there," Alice Napier said.
Person County authorities have called on dive teams and emergency personnel from other areas to assist with the search.
Officials say the challenge for divers is the trees and the deep water.
"I would like to know if he's in that lake ... please pull him out, so we can give him a decent burial," Chad Napier's mother Linda Napier said.
Napier's family is making a public plea for anyone with hi-tech equipment to help.
"If you volunteer to come down here, any county, we would really appreciate it," Alice Napier said. "You really don't know what to believe until his body is found, we just need some closure."