Seffner, Florida -- Buddy Wicker still comes by his long-time home site every day. "It's hard to explain," says the 75-year-old. "But you just look at it and say - how did this happen?"
Wicker's house of course is gone, but just like the oak tree he planted in 1976, the memories remain.
"I look at 39 years down the tube, but I've got the memories in my heart," he says, touching his chest.
Late last month, a sinkhole opened up beneath Wicker's house swallowing Jeff Bush as he slept in his bed. The house was later demolished and the hole filled in.
Yellow caution tape and colorful flowers on a fence now mark Bush's final resting place. And since day one, Jeremy Bush has questioned why the county did not do more to recover his brother's body.
"It's hard knowing that nobody tried really," Jeremy Bush recently told 10 News.
After consulting with engineers and citing safety concerns, Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill made that call.
"I don't see how he could have made a different decision," says Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist.
While Merrill has declined to outline that decision-making process in detail for 10 News at this point in time, Crist says he's received a full briefing from Merrill. Crist says to try and find Bush's body, machinery would have had to dig in from the sides, perhaps forcing the demolition of the homes on either side. Crist also says it's possible Bush's body reached the aquifer and was swept away.
"Now you're talking about other lives, other homes, other families -- a whole lot of affects on people for what you're not even sure is going to be there," he said.
Wicker too agrees with the county's decision. "One of them asked me and I said, 'I want safety first.'"
Now, weeks later, signs of faith may adorn the sinkhole site fence line, but uncertainty continues to hover over the people of Faithway Drive. Chuck Holloway who lives two houses down from the deadly sinkhole puts it simply, "Can't sleep at night."
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