Craig Strickland’s widow talks about husband’s final moments

KAY COUNTY, Okla. – Craig Strickland “experienced no pain in his final moments,” his wife Helen said.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they recovered the country singer’s body at Kaw Lake Monday (Jan. 4).

OHP says Strickland’s body was found in a thick tree and brush area approximately 75 feet off the shoreline.

The thick tree line made it difficult to locate Strickland, who was wearing camouflage hunting gear.

Strickland’s widow Helen later took to social media to shed some light on her husband’s final moments.

Craig was found today. We can finally rest knowing that he is at Home in Heaven with his Father. 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. He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep. They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his Father. 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. #craigstrickland

Craig was found today. We can finally rest knowing that he is at Home in Heaven with his Father. 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. He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep. They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his Father. 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. #craigstrickland

A photo posted by Helen Wisner Strickland (@helenelizabethstrickland) on

Strickland, a 29-year-old vocalist in the country rock band Backroad Anthem, and Morland, 22, were duck hunting at Oklahoma’s Kaw Lake the Sunday after Christmas when a  fierce winter weather system was hitting central portions of the country, the band said.

Craig Strickland Chase Morland

Craig Strickland Chase Morland

After relatives reported them missing, on Dec. 27, state troopers said they found Morland’s body two days later at the lake, where the friends’ boat capsized.

The weather at the time of the trip was dangerous with rain, sleet, snow and frigid wind chills as low as 15 degrees.

Morland acknowledged the weather danger in what is, in retrospect, a haunting tweet before they went on their hunting trip.

“In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm,” Morland’s tweet reads.

Morland’s cause of death was determined to be drowning due to a capsized boat, coupled with exposure, the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s office said.

OHP had been searching the lake with boats, air patrol and dogs.