When a group of West Virginians were rescued from an abandoned mine last week, authorities hinted they could face criminal charges.
Now the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for one of the four who entered the sealed mine and ended up being trapped for days. The four were first reported missing December 8.
Eddie Williams Jr., 43, is being charged with entering without breaking, conspiracy and giving false information to law enforcement, the sheriff’s office said. Williams was able to emerge from the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek on December 10.
He told authorities three others were trapped in the mine and gave their location, according to the West Virginia governor’s office. Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, were finally rescued two days later — on December 12 — and taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
The three were alert, talking and walking without assistance, Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter said last week after their rescue.
“It’s a miracle they were found alive,” Van Meter said.
The sheriff’s office said deputies have been searching several locations trying to find Williams since the rescue. It also is continuing an investigation into the other three.
The group was suspected of entering the mine to steal copper, authorities said last week.
The underground mine is inactive and sealed, Contura Energy, whose affiliate Elk Run Coal owns the property, told CNN.