The body of a Gaston County girl who died in a tragic accident with her cousin in Lincoln County Sunday was laid to rest Thursday, according to church officials with Bethlehem Church in Gastonia.
Grieving friends and family gathered at the church’s south campus earlier in the afternoon to remember six-year-old Chloe Arwood, who was killed after the walls of a dirt pit caved in on her and seven-year-old James Levi Caldwell, who will be laid to rest Saturday at Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Stanley, church officials said.
They could not, however, release funeral arrangement details due to the family’s request for privacy.
The two had been playing inside the hole on her father’s property on Cedarbrook Court in Stanley when the walls collapsed before the man’s eyes.
Jordan Arwood, who had been operating a construction vehicle doing unlicensed work at the site, made the frantic 911 call, forcing more than 50 rescue workers to the scene.
Deputies said records with Lincoln County Goverment Building and Land Development showed the office never issued him permits to do construction on his property.
While Chloe lived with her mother in Gastonia, James lived with his adoptive parents in a Cedarbrook home near his uncle.
The two often played together inside the more than 20-foot deep pit, neighbors told the Associated Press.
Crews shoveled dirt for hours until they retrieved the children’s bodies early Monday morning.
“Chloe was loved by everyone who met her, and she was such a kind and sweet child,” Bethlehem Pastor Dickie Spargo said in a mass email to church members Wednesday evening.
She attended the church with her mother and grandparents, the email said.
Spargo went on to describe Chloe as “a beautiful girl who loved Jesus and loved life.”
“We will all miss her so much,” he said.
Memorial services have taken place at various other area churches throughout the week in honor of the children’s lives.
Chloe was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Belmont.
While deputies located marijuana and illegally-owned firearms at Jordan Arwood’s residence earlier this week, charges have still not been filed in the case.
The man has a felony drug history in Catawba County and is not allowed to own guns, deputies said.
Law enforcement officials said they have not charged him because they are giving him time to grieve.
The District Attorney’s Office is expected the review the report after the Sheriff’s Office hands over the information.