Aspiring Pastor Drowns on Honeymoon in Florida

After three short days of “wedded bliss” a young Iowa woman went from bride to widow after her husband tragically drowned while on their honeymoon.

“Yesterday afternoon while at the beach the Lord decided to call my husband Dalton to come home to him,” Cheyenne Hedrick, 22, said of the incident on Facebook.

After tying the knot on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri, Dalton Cottrell, 22, and Hedrick celebrated their union with a trip to Florida.

The newlyweds were enjoying a swim at Crescent Beach in St. Augustine on Tuesday when a strong current swept them deeper into the ocean.

As the water got stronger, Hedrick told police that Dalton “began to struggle,” KCRG-TV reported.

“She attempted to assist him, but was unable to help him due to him pulling her under,” police said in a statement, KCRG-TV reported.

“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,” police said.

A St. Johns County lifeguard, a nearby paddleboarder and a man named William David Foy swam out to the couple and brought Dalton back to safety on the board, police said, CNN reported.

When they reached the shore, the lifeguard attempted CPR on him. However, it was too late as Dalton underwent cardiac arrest. He was transported to Flagler Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said, according to CNN.

Dalton Cottrell and Cheyenne Hedrick | Facebook
Dalton Cottrell and Cheyenne Hedrick | Facebook

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Hedrick wrote on Facebook, “3 days of wedded bliss turned into a nightmare very quickly for the Cottrell family as well as mine own.”

“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 [sic],” she wrote.

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Hedrick did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

At this time, the family has not yet made funeral arrangements.

GoFundMe has been created in hopes of raising money for Dalton’s memorial.

Prior to his death, Dalton had dreams of becoming a pastor.

Faith Bible College, where he was a Pastoral Training major, has issued a statement following news of his sudden death. Hedrick was also a student at the college and had recently completed her junior year.

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The institution will be hosting a prayer and memorial on Tuesday night.

For Dr. Jim Tillotson, president of Faith Bible College, Dalton’s death is especially hard: “Having just lost my mom a few weeks ago due to an accident, it was not advice that I needed but love, prayers and support. I would like to encourage Eagle Nation to pray for, love, and support both Cheyenne and Dalton’s family. Let’s go heavy on love and light on advice.”