UPDATE (3/6/23 10:38 A.M.) — Tulsa police identified a man who died after a tunnel he was digging near the Arkansas River collapsed on top of him.

Police said the body of Andrew Farris was recovered on Sunday. Farris' girlfriend said he was tunneling into an embankment where he found copper wire coming out. She told police he had been working on the tunnel for several weeks.

TULSA, Okla. — A man died after a pile of soil collapsed on top of him along the Arkansas River Sunday, Tulsa Police said.

Police said Andrew Farris had been digging up some abandoned copper wire that he found along the riverbank near 56th and Peoria when the tunnel he was digging collapsed.

“He was kind of under an embankment so the original embankment that had collapsed on him was wanting to continue collapsing each time more dirt was moved so they just kept moving dirt out of the way," said Lieutenant Josh Goldstein with the Tulsa Police Department.

Police said Farris had found copper wire in the area and was trying to dig it out.

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Lt. Goldstein said Farris didn't steal the wire.

"We’re not saying or accusing him of stealing copper wire, he had found copper wire down there, I was looking at it, I can't tell that it looked like it was attached to anything, it almost seemed like it was just a strand of abandoned copper wire, maybe years ago was running across the river, I don’t know but he had somehow found a load of it and was following that backwards and bringing it out," he said.

Police said Farris and his girlfriend had gotten into argument and she had not seen him since Thursday.

On Saturday night, she went to check on him and found that his digging project had collapsed.

Emergency services excavated the area looking for him and found his body Sunday afternoon.

Lt. Goldstein said he’s never seen anything like this before.

“It is rare, I’ve been here 16 years and it’s the first one I’ve seen, but all along the river here it’s very loose sand, the river is constantly wanting to wash into the bank and make these cliffs that like to collapse and this gentleman had been digging quite a hole, I mean if you picture a mining shaft he had the beginning of one of those going with nothing shoring it up and the sand just collapsed,” he said.

The Medical Examiner and an anthropologist were both called out to the scene.

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