Community Gathers To Pray For Family of Two Kids Trapped, Killed


by Audrina Bigos
by Photographed by: Chris Keimig

LINCOLN COUNTY, NC- Tears and prayers Tuesday at a prayer vigil for two young cousins killed when a wall of dirt fell on top of them in  Lincoln County.

Six-year-old Chloe Arwood and seven-year-old James Caldwell were playing Sunday when they were buried alive in their backyard.

Family, friends, teachers, classmates and first responders came together in their memory Tuesday at Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Church for  a prayer vigil and balloon release.

The grandmother of the two children attended the vigil and spoke about the night the children's bodies were recovered.

"I felt nothing except for fear and pain ," said Nancy Caldwell.

Caldwell embraced tearful firefighters at the vigil who helped recover her grandchildren's bodies. More than100 firefighters and emergency personnel dug for 13 hours to find the children after a dirt wall collapsed on them around 6p.m. on Sunday. The children went to the bottom of the 24-foot pit built by Chloe's father to retrieve a toy, according to officials.

"It was very trying for all of us. Not only the physical, but the mental aspect of it ," said Mike Turner, Lincoln County assistant fire chief.

"So many times we are judgemental when things happen and we're looking for someone to point the blame. But we need to reach out and embrace these folks and love them past their hurt," said Bishop Franklin Lowery, with Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

Teachers and classmates of the children were also at the vigil. Teachers say that counselors were on hand at the children's schools as children deal with the loss.

The family says funeral arrangements have not been made.  

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