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By Phil Helsel
Deputies in West Virginia on Thursday were looking for one of four people who entered an inactive coal mine earlier this month, prompting a days-long rescue effort, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement that they had arrest warrants for Eddie Williams Jr., who is charged with entering without breaking, conspiracy and giving false information to law enforcement.
Williams and three others, Kayla Williams, Cody Beverly and Erica Treadway, entered the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek sometime before they were reported missing late Dec. 8.
Williams emerged from the mine on his own on Dec. 10 and told authorities the three others were alive, officials said at the time.
They were rescued on Dec. 12, and the mother of one them said she believed they entered the mine to steal copper.
Beverly and Treadway, in interviews after they were rescued, denied they entered the mine looking for copper, and claimed they were there just exploring.
The sheriff’s office said that an investigation continues into Williams, Beverly and Treadway.
It is a crime to enter a closed mine no matter the motivation, a sheriff’s spokesman has said.
The sheriff’s office was unable to provide more details about the criminal case when reached late Thursday night, and an email to the spokesman was not immediately returned.