One year later, families honoring two men buried alive in Copiah County gravel pit

COPIAH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The past year has been hard on the families of Emmitt Shorter and Dee Hemphill. June 3, 2016, while at work the two men were buried alive in a gravel pit.

It was nine long days before their bodies were recovered.

“Everyone is helping out it’s been hard it’s been hard, but we’re getting through it together,” says Michelle Newell, the mother of Shorter’s daughter.

Shorter’s family and friends gathered at the gravel pit Saturday to light candles and held a balloon release in honor of the two men.
Newell says it’s been a painful year for her little girl growing up and missing her father. “She still needs prayers she still goes through bad days,” adds Newell.

We spoke with Dee Hemphill’s family in May about how they’re coping with the loss one year later.  “Yea he’s missed, and it’s fresh it’s still pretty fresh,” says Hemphill’s nephew, Tony.

Like Shorter’s family, Hemphill’s nephew remembers being out at the gravel pit every hour of every day until his uncle was found.
“Once I got out there and saw I knew the chances were slim but of course nobody wants to hear it’s time for recovery because I’m a cop and I know the difference between a rescue and a recovery,” says Tony.

The United State Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration Investigated the incident. Green Brothers was given six citations.

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