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Charges possible in construction accident deaths

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

A father whose daughter and nephew were killed in an eastern Lincoln County construction accident in April may soon be charged with involuntary manslaughter, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Lieutenant Tim Johnson, head of the agency’s Criminal Investigations Division, said the case has yet to wrap up but is in its final stages.

Jordan Keely Arwood, 31, of Cedarbrook Court in Stanley, has already been charged with illegally harboring a firearm and marijuana after deputies searched his residence following the death of Chloe Arwood, 6, and James Caldwell, 7, on his property this past spring.

The children were buried alive under several feet of dirt after a trench collapsed on April 7.

The victims had been playing in the pit, being constructed without permits, deputies said, after venturing down into it the hole to get some sort of toy.

Rescue crews tried to save the children but following only a few hours, the event became a recovery mission.

Contradictory to information being reported by other news media outlets, Arwood is not being cooperative with law enforcement, including not handing over surveillance from video cameras he told deputies he had placed around his property.

Arwood told officers he had been building a basement for a future house, but Johnson was highly skeptical of the man’s explanation for the trench.

Arwood has since posted a $20,000 bond for the weapon and drug charges.

Johnson said the Department of Social Services has already concluded its part of the investigation. He did not give a time frame for a possible involuntary manslaughter charge.

Lincoln County Prosecutor Michael Miller said the District Attorney’s Office has met multiple times with the Sheriff’s Office to discuss the case, but he could not reveal additional information until the investigation has been completed.

“They have done an excellent job in investigating this tragic event, but some investigations take longer than others,” Miller said. “Once their investigation is complete, we will be better able to address some of our other inquiries.”

 

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