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Craig Strickland Died of Hypothermia, Autopsy Confirms

The autopsy of Backroad Anthem singer Craig Strickland‘s body has been completed, confirming his manner of death.

Nearly three months after Strickland died following a hunting accident on Dec. 27, autopsy reports (per E! News) have confirmed that the artist died from hypothermia. The manner of Strickland’s death has been ruled accidental.

Twenty-nine-year-old Strickland died after he, his 22-year-old friend Chase Morland and Strickland’s dog Sam went for a duck hunt early on Dec. 27, despite severe weather conditions. When Strickland and Morland failed to make contact with their families for 24 hours, a search began for the two missing men. Teams — including members in the air, on land and in sonar-equipped boats — searched a two-mile area of Kaw Lake in Kay County, Okla., before recovering Strickland’s body on Jan. 4. Morland’s body was recovered on the afternoon of Dec. 28, with Sam found, alive, next to his body.

Backroad Anthem began their career in October of 2012. Without Strickland, the band consists of Toby Freeman on vocals and electric guitar, fiddler Eric Dysart, guitarist Josh Bryant, bassist and vocalist Brandon Robold and drummer Isaac Senty. The group has opened for country artists including Chris Young, Gary Allan and Tyler Farr and has said that they intend to continue their career without Strickland.

“He’ll always be a part of our show in some capacity, but at least for this year, and maybe longer, we’re going to have his microphone stand and the acoustic guitar that he played out on stage, on the front of the stage,” Robold tells The Boot. “We want to show honor to him and tribute to him.”

On March 16, Strickland’s wife Helen shared the above photo of her husband’s newly placed headstone. The grave marker is carved into the shape of Craig Strickland’s home state of Arkansas; a guitar and music notes mark Fayetteville’s location

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