Father buried alive in a sand dune as five-year-old daughter helplessly watches

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SPRING, TX  - A father was buried alive in a sand dune right in front of his five-year-old daughter!

The young dad's make-shift sand cave became a grisly grave Tuesday night near a creek at Pundt Park.

"He was down here with his daughter playing in the park," Harris County Precinct 4 Captain Toby Hecker reported. "They come down here quite often."

Investigators say the 31-year-old man man was digging a cave about four to eight feet deep, when the sand suddenly collapsed.

His young daughter ran for help.

"The little girl came over and said, 'Can you help me? My daddy's stuck in the sand,'" Hecker conveyed. "And this witness came over and saw the man's feet sticking out...and began digging frantically."

"But it was already too late," Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Director Dennis Johnson declared. "He had passed."

Officials say recent floods made the sand extremely unstable which likely led to the dune caving in.

"He was covered just enough to where it suffocated him and stops your breathing," Hecker described.

"I've been working for Harris County for 33 years," Johnson said. "I've never seen anything like this happen before."

Authorities have not released the victim's name.  But they do say his daughter was extremely heroric searching for help.

"This little five-year-old girl is gonna have to live with that for the rest of her life," Johnson reflected. "And I feel....it breaks my heart."

"This is heartbreaking," resident Jennifer Strand shared. "That five-year-old is probably going to have nightmares for the rest of her life."

Now all that remains at the deadly dune are footprints in the sand....footprints of those who tried to dig out a dad, but sadly ran out of time.