Three family members drown in High Point pond


Nikki Simpkins (pictured left)

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Authorities said three members of the same family died Sunday after a drowning at a pond in High Point.

Kenny Jordan, 30, and his wife Heather Jordan, 33, and her 12-year-old daughter Nikki Simpkins, all of High Point, were pronounced dead.

Officials said the incident occurred at a small pond near Deep River Pointe Apartments at 3971 River Pointe Pl. around 3:30 a.m.

Authorities said three other juveniles were also swimming with the group but survived. The pond is reportedly 2-4 feet deep and the center is 7-8 feet deep.

Officials said the temperature of the water was around 43 degrees when the incident was reported. The air temperature was about 29 degrees.

Investigators said the coldness of the water would cause a person’s body to start to lose function within five minutes.

“It just appears to be a bad decision and a terrible tragedy for the community,” said Captain Kirk, with the High Point Police Department.

Kirk said it was Kenny Jordan’s idea for everyone to go swimming. Investigators said the group – two adults and four children – walked to the pond from their home about half a mile away around 3 a.m.

Jordan’s 12-year-old nephew and two other juveniles were among those in the group who survived.

Investigators said that out of the six people, five of them went in the water. Two came out quickly because of the cold and ran in and called for help.

Authorities said the other three stayed in the water and started to struggle and unfortunately succumbed to hypothermia.

Investigators said emergency crews arrived at the scene within about four minutes of being called and found the adult victims within a few hours.

Officials said it took more than nine hours to find Simpkins and crews had started draining the pond by the time she was found.

Investigators said they do not know why the group went for a swim.

“Don’t do it,” said High Point Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Wright. “Unless you have a will to put yourself in this kind of danger and risk your life, don’t do it. That’s exactly what you’re doing — putting your life at risk if you get in water this cold.”

Authorities said Simpkins was a student at Southwest Middle School. Grief counselors will reportedly be on hand Monday to speak with students.

The investigation is ongoing. It remains uncertain if drugs or alcohol were involved. Toxicology reports can take two weeks to a couple of months to complete.

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