Craig Strickland “experienced no pain in his final moments,” his wife says.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Enforcement Division found the country singer’s body in Bear Creek Cove on Monday, over a week after Strickland went missing during a duck hunting trip. The 29-year-old’s wife, Helen, says in a new post that he died of hypothermia.
“The night of the accident he had fought his way out of the water and up a hill before the stages of hypothermia set in,” she wrote on Instagram. “He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep.”
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Strickland, who was the lead singer of local Arkansas band Backroad Anthem, and his friend, Chase R. Morland, 22, were reported missing on Dec. 26. Two days later, Morland’s body was recovered, though Strickland’s family held out hope when his dog, Sam, returned unharmed.
Unfortunately, that search ended on Jan. 4 and, as Helen says, “We can finally rest knowing that he is at Home in Heaven with his Father.”
“They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his Father,” she continued. “Thank you to every single person who prayed for him and our family during this time. There was not a more peaceful way for him to go into the arms of our Lord, and I know your prayers had a role in making that happen. I know he saw Jesus at that moment when he laid down and walked arm in arm with Him into a better Everlasting Life.”
“I love you with all my heart Craig Michael,” she concluded.
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Earlier in the day, as news broke that Strickland’s body had been recovered, Helen tweeted, "Thank you Lord for leading us to him today. I will praise you, Amen.”
Prior to the men going missing, Morland sent out an ominous tweet about the trip, saying, "In case we don't come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm.”