Dalton Cottrell, 22, an Iowa pastor, who was enjoying his Florida honeymoon after getting married just three days before, has reportedly drowned this week in front of his wife.
The incident happened after the couple went for a swim. It was reportedly the first time the pastor had gone into the ocean, and he was afraid of the unfamiliar situation.
His wife, 22-year-old Cheyenne Hedrick, claims that at some point, he began to panic and started to pull her underwater. Eventually, the strength of the water grew too great and overcame the two lovebirds.
The woman began to struggle in her attempts to save her husband but was unable to do anything with him constantly pulling her underwater.
At some point, Cottrell was underwater for over a minute and floated up with his eyes rolled back.
A lifeguard eventually managed to reach the man and pulled him out, but his attempts to resuscitate him were in vain.
A police statement on the tragedy read: “Cheyenne advised he began to struggle and she attempted to assist him but was unable to help due to him pulling her under. She advised at one point after him being under the water for approximately for a minute he came back up, and his eyes were rolled in the back of his head.”
The pastor was pronounced dead at the Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, to the horror of his newlywed wife.
The woman posted a tearful story on Facebook, explaining how the best moment of her life had turned into a nightmare.
She wrote: “Yesterday afternoon while at the beach the Lord decided to call my husband Dalton to come home to him. 3 days of wedded bliss turned into a nightmare very quickly for the Cottrell family as well as mine own.”
She continued with: “There is so much fear and uncertainty coursing through myself. My parents came down early this morning to be with me as I begin this next journey,’ she continued. Never did I think at 22 would I be a wife and then a widow so quickly. Please pray for I and all families as we grief.”
Many have expressed their support and best wishes for the woman and her relatives, as well as the family of the deceased pastor.
A GoFundMe has been set up for his memorial and has managed to raise $28,000 for the service.
A special service will be held in memory of the pastor, and the church has asked people for their thoughts and prayers.
Cottrell was a man filled with empathy and involved in helping those in need.