Jonathan Brussow always said he knew he was going to marry her.
That’s what the 19-year-old man told Athena Williams, 20, when he first starting dating her, Williams told FOX 17. She says the two had met at a bonfire during the summer after they’d finished eighth grade. He sat next to her on the school bus when ninth grade started, and the rest was history, she told the news station.
So when the Rockford, Michigan man went on vacation with Williams’ family to the Bahamas, he decided to seek their permission to propose to Williams, FOX 17 reported. He asked her family the night before he went missing, the news station reported.
The next day, he went with Williams’ brother, Eric, on a hike up a tall cliff. That’s when he also asked Eric if he was OK with Brussow marrying Williams, she said.
Then the huge wave hit, FOX 17 reported.
A giant wave swept Brussow and Williams’ brother off the bridge last Monday and into the water, CBS Detroit reported. Eric Williams managed to cling to a cliff, pull himself to safety and run for help, authorities said, but Brussow disappeared.
Brussow and Eric had been sightseeing near the Glass Window Bridge, a popular tourist attraction on the island of Eleuthera, the news station reported.
Williams told FOX 17 she found out Brussow wasn’t with Eric at around 11 a.m. that morning.
“That’s pretty much when we knew that Jonathan was gone but we did not give up hope,” Williams said. “We called every number possible. We called the embassy, the Nassau Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, the local police enforcement. We did not stop making calls.”
Brussow’s family also held out hope that he’d be found alive. MLive.com reported. Local authorities searched for him, and the U.S. Coast Guard offered some assistance, the Detroit Free Press reported.
But several days later, Brussow’s father confirmed that his son’s remains were found Friday atop a cliff where waves had created an eight-foot deep pond during a storm earlier that week, MLive.com reported.
Bradley Brussow told the publication that his search party and authorities had been through that area several times and didn’t find anything. But when the pond began to dry up later in the week, the body was discovered, he said.
Williams told FOX 17 that her boyfriend “loved his life” and “had no regrets.”
“I’ve never, ever experienced or seen anybody love somebody so genuinely like he actually loved me,” she said. “It just blows me away, the person he was. The person he still is.”