WEST VIRGINIA — When a group of West Virginians were rescued from an abandoned mine last week, authorities hinted they could face criminal charges.
The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office issued arrest warrants this week for the four people who entered a sealed mine and became trapped.
Eddie Williams Jr., 43, is being charged with entering without breaking, conspiracy and giving false information to law enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said Friday that arrest warrants also had been issued for Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, in connection with entering the mine, but it didn’t specify any charges.
The group was suspected of entering the mine to steal copper, authorities said last week after the rescue.
CNN has reached out to the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
The four were reported missing December 8.
Williams was able to escape from the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek two days later.
He told authorities three others were trapped in the mine and gave their location, according to the West Virginia governor’s office. Williams, Treadway and Beverly finally were rescued 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 after the rescue.
“It’s a miracle they were found alive,” Van Meter said.
The underground mine is inactive and sealed, Contura Energy, whose affiliate Elk Run Coal owns the property, told CNN.