LTN Staff Reports
A Stanley man, who witnessed the death of his daughter and nephew earlier this month after the children became trapped beneath a wall of dirt on his property, appeared in a Lincoln County courtroom Tuesday.
Jordan Keely Arwood, 31, of Cedarbrook Court, was charged Monday with one count each possession of a firearm by a felon and manufacturing a controlled substance, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies found a marijuana plant and six firearms, including an AR-15 rifle, at the man’s home while investigating the deaths of Chloe Arwood, 6, and James Caldwell, 7, who died after the walls of a massive trench at the residence caved in on the children on April 7, according to an agency press release.
The Sheriff’s Office waited several days after seizing the contraband from Arwood’s home before arresting him, giving him time to grieve over the fatal incident.
The day of the tragedy, Arwood had been doing construction work at his home while the children played inside the pit.
Deputies said they remain puzzled over why the man was digging the hole since he didn’t have county building permits to do so.
Arwood has a felony drug history in Catawba County, public records showed, and is not allowed to own a firearm in the state.
Chloe lived in Gastonia with her mother while James stayed with his adoptive parents in a house on the same road where the incident occurred.
Each child has since been laid to rest.
Arwood remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond and is scheduled to make a second appearance in district court on May 2, the Clerk of Court’s Office said.
An investigation into the children’s deaths is ongoing. The District Attorney’s Office will determine if Arwood will receive additional charges in the case.