Searching for answers in High Point family drowning

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- More details are emerging about a 12-year-old girl and her parents who drowned in a High Point pond over the weekend.

Nikki Simpkins, her mother Heather Jordan and her stepfather Kenny Jordan reportedly went with three other children to a pond off Penny Road in High Point around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police believe one of the adults suggested going to the pond for a swim in the early morning hours. Investigators said the water was about 43 degrees at the time.

Police said one child did not go in the water and two other children went in, but quickly came back out.

Meanwhile, Kenny Jordan went into the water and Nikki and Heather followed behind him, said the family's Pastor and spokesperson David McGee.

The Jordans and Nikki died in the water from hypothermia.

The circumstances surrounding the drowning, and why the family decided to go to the pond at all in the middle of the night, are still unclear.

During 911 calls from that night, dispatchers tried to get more information from the Jordan's family member who called for help.

"What were they doing going into the lake?" asked a dispatcher.

The caller responded, "I don't know. My granddaughter came over and said their Dad had been drinking. Just some crazy foolishness, I don't know."

At least one child could be heard crying and screaming in the background of the 911 call.

The caller told dispatchers that a boy was soaking wet.

The caller added later, "They went in the water and never came back out."

Divers searched for more than nine hours to find Nikki's body Sunday.

They drained the pond, which is one of two near River Pointe Apartments and Panera Bread restaurant of Highway 68.

She was a sixth grade student at Southwest Middle School in Guilford County.

Principal Joe Caraher said Nikki was a well-liked student.

"Nikki was a quiet girl but she was also very nice. She was one that really endeared herself to the staff here. They really enjoyed having her in class. She was a hard-working student who did what teachers expected from her," Caraher said.

Caraher said several students and teachers utilized the crisis team at Southwest for counseling today.

"Middle school students are still young and to make sense of everything that happened can be difficult," he said. "We did the best we could to make sure we took care of them, helped them through it."

He said help can be difficult because they still don't know what exactly happened to Nikki and her family.

Officers could not comment yet on whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the drownings.

They said toxicology and autopsy reports could take several weeks to complete.