Wife: Craig Strickland was found lying in the shape of a cross

by Gregory Tomlin |

(Helen Elizabeth Strickland/Facebook)

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (Christian Examiner) – Helen Strickland, wife of Backroad Anthem front man Craig Strickland, who died Dec. 27 after a hunting accident on an Oklahoma lake, has shared details of the singer's death via Instagram.

Strickland's body was found Jan. 4 by search teams with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, but the body was not in the lake as many expected it would be. Strickland said the night of the accident, her husband "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," she wrote.

Helen Strickland, like many others, held out hope that her husband had not drowned. Friends even conducted an experiment by wearing chest waders in a swimming pool to test the theory that he could have floated for some time after the boat capsized. The experiment worked.

Craig and Helen Strickland, a former Miss Arkansas, were married for a year before his death.