A crew of excavation and rescue experts worked through the night digging a slanted tunnel to reach the body of Samuel Jones, 4.
They brought the small body to the surface at about 7 a.m. today, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
The boy went missing from his Carlsbad home at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Authorities activated an Amber Alert and a massive search ensued.
Search and Rescue team found Jones’ body Sunday morning at the bottom of a deep, narrow hole near his back yard.
The hole, possibly a former well, is 14 inches in diameter. Jones’ body was at rest some 30 feet beneath the surface.
Sensors lowered into the hole found no sign of life from the boy.
Eddy County Fire Coordinator Robert Brader told the Current-Argus, “It was pretty emotional” and took a moment to compose himself before continuing the interview.
“I have been a paramedic for years and have been at accidents involving children. But this was different,” he said.
Because no one in Carlsbad or Eddy County had done this type of rescue before, Brader said, specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 were brought in to help. Carlsbad physician Kim Lark and her search and rescue dogs were part of the task force.
Brader said that as soon as the call came in that the child was missing, the mobile command vehicle was brought in to provide logistic support along with generators and heaters.
“Throughout the night people were searching for the little boy,” he said. “When the sun came up, someone told us there was a hole in the ground that he may have fallen into.”
That’s when Brader and Scott Maxwell from the Carlsbad Fire Department devised a webcam to put down into the hole, and their worst fears were realized.
Brader said Carlsbad Police and Fire Departments, the county emergency preparedness office, the mine rescue teams, specialists and heavy equipment operators who volunteered their time and equipment, all worked in harmony under difficult and trying conditions.
He said as word spread in the community about the lost child, and the subsequent discovery of his body in the hole, the public turned out in great numbers.
“At times it was overwhelming,” Brader said.