By Andrea Lucia


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VAN(CBSDFW.COM) – A retired Garland police officer and his wife died after their home collapsed in Sunday night’s tornado.  A 14-year-old neighbor found them shortly after 6 o’clock Monday morning when neighbors realized David Tapley and his wife never emerged from the debris.

“Shocking… I couldn’t move at all,” says Emmanuel Vasquez.  “All I did was yell.”

Vasquez had joined his father and brother to search this field.  He was hoping to find his neighbors alive.  But several yards from where the couple’s home once stood,  Vasquez says he found their remains.

“I saw something and I got close to it,” Vasquez said.  “And it was the lady and then the man. So I just froze for a moment. And then I screamed for my dad.”

His father, Aaron Vasquez says he’d seen the couple at home just this weekend.  But amid the chaos Monday morning he saw no movement on their property.

He says Tapley lay with one arm around his dog, the other stretched toward his wife. Incredibly, the dog was alive.

It’s an image this family won’t forget.  A reminder Aaron Vasquez says life can slip away so quickly.

Friends say the couple was very active in the Van Methodist Church. Mrs. Tapley was a secretary there for several years.  David Tapley served as the church’s council chair. Two other dogs owned by the couple did not survive the collapse.

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