A seven-year-old boy has died after being buried alive by his younger brother as they played in a pile of sand at their rural home.
Despite desperate efforts by Charlie McDaniel to revive his son with CPR and later by paramedics the boy went into cardiac arrest.
McDaniel was pronounced dead after being airlifted by helicopter from the family’s horse farm in Bexar County, Texas.
Results of full autopsy has yet to be carried out for what police believe was a tragic accident on Friday.
Police said it appeared the two boys had been playing in a pile of loose beach sand at the horse farm and riding school.
It is believed they had dug a hole in the top the pile of loose sand and younger brother Logan may have piled the sand back on top trapping his brother.
Paul Berry, spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, said the five year old alerted his father.
‘The brothers had been playing in the sand together when the younger son came to the father, alerting him that the older brother wasn’t moving,’ Berry said.
Witnesses told investigators Wyatt and his five-year-old brother Logan were playing in a sand pile while their father Charlie was giving a lesson at the Wild Sunday Farm.
Although police are working on the theory that Wyatt was buried by his brother they said that no one yet knew for sure how the seven-year-old ended up in the pile.
‘No one actually saw it’ Berry said. ‘Clearly there was an accident with sand. And it appeared as if he suffocated, but that needs to be determined by the medical examiner.’
Theresa Chamberlain, who said she knows the family, described the brothers as ‘inseparable.’
The boys were ‘best buddies,’ she said, ‘and we’re concerned about Logan, and how he will handle this.’
Chamberlain said she is a longtime friend of Logan’s mother and has been offering help to the family.
An ‘outpouring of support’ for the family was being held at Wilderness Oaks Elementary, Wyatt’s school.
The community is invited to tie orange ribbons, his favorite color, around the campus.
According to online property records, Charles McDaniel owns and operates the horse facility Wild Sunday Farm.
A photograph on the business’ Facebook page that was added in May 2010 shows a small boy smiling broadly and wearing a riding hat atop a black horse.
The caption reads: ‘Wyatt McDaniel’s very first time in the tack. He’s a natural! I am so proud of my little guy! :)’
One the farms webpage McDaniel boasts how he has trained and looked after many award winning horses.
‘For over 20 years, our horses and riders have won at all levels of shows (local, state, and national) and received numerous year end awards,’ it says.
‘At Wild Sunday Farm, you and your horse will receive the highest degree of safety and the best quality care, teaching and training. Wild Sunday Farm specializes in hunters, jumpers, and equitation and attends all levels of hunter/jumper.
‘We are proud to offer an outstanding facility that caters to families and individuals.’