The buried kids father’s 911 call has now emerged, revealing the panic and stress in Jordan Arwood’s voice as he called for help after two cousins, a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, somehow got into a huge 24-foot-deep pit that he was digging on a construction site near his backyard in rural Lincoln County, some 20 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina.
A dirt wall collapsed, suffocating the children despite a painstaking rescue effort that took as many as 75 workers including a structural engineer. Both Arwood’s daughter, Chloe Jade Arwood, and her cousin, James Levi Caldwell, were recovered dead hours later.
The details were sketchy during the recovery, with neighbors telling news media that Arwood was digging a basement. One story was that the children were playing at being his helpers and that they’d gone into the pit to retrieve a child’s pickaxe when they were killed.
In any case, the accident occurred while 31-year-old Arwood was operating his backhoe.
The Lincoln County communications center has now released the 911 call made by the panicked father of buried kid Chloe Jade: “The entire wall collapsed on them. Get a crane. Get a bulldozer. Get anything you can, please. There’s no way they can breathe.”
He was crying and calling on the Lord to raise up the dirt and save the children, a prayer that was ultimately futile. You can hear a portion of the 911 call posted by Charlotte news station WCCB Charlotte.
You can get a look at the pit and the rescue effort here:
Now, the Lincoln County sheriff’s office is tasked with investigating what actually caused the accident — and why Jordan Arwood was digging out that pit.
According to new details that have emerged from the investigation, Arwood has a 2003 conviction for “possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell,” according to a North Carolina news station.
As a convicted felon, he isn’t allowed to have firearms. However, the sheriff’s officers have now reportedly removed a marijuana plant and multiple undescribed firearms from the home.
What’s more, although the construction site had allegedly been underway for around three months, Lincoln County can’t find any record of a construction permit. Yet, no one had acted to stop the digging until the tragedy struck.
And the reasons given for the digging keep changing. Was it a basement? A new family home? Or, as a new rumor has suggested, was it some sort of underground bunker?
Jordan Arwood made a 911 call to save the buried kids that no father ever wants to have to make. And his troubles won’t be over soon.