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4 arrested weeks after being trapped, then rescued from West Virginia coal mine

Rescued group from abandoned mine hit with criminal charges
Rescued group from abandoned mine hit with criminal charges 00:21

The four people who became trapped in a mine earlier this month have been arrested, the Raleigh County Sheriff's Department told CBS News on Thursday. Three were charged were felony breaking and entering, conspiracy and property damage, while the fourth person was charged with felony breaking and entering, conspiracy and giving false information to law enforcement.

Kayla Williams, Erica Treadway, Cody Beverly and Eddie Williams entered the mine on Dec. 9.  The criminal complaint said they enetered to steal copper wire. 

Beverly has told The Register-Herald that their lights went out shortly after entering the mine and chaos ensued, prompting Eddie Williams to leave in search of help.

The other three were trapped in the mine for four days. 

Cody Beverly, Erica Treadway, Eddie Williams and Kayla Williams Raleigh County Sheriff's Department

Emergency workers raced around the clock for four days to find Beverly, Treadway, and Kayla Williams, searching deep into the Whitesville, West Virginia, mine while the percentages on their oxygen detection gauges neared deadly levels, CBS News' Chip Reid reported at the time. 

Entering the mine – which had been inactive for two years – was not easy. Rescuers had to remove water at one entrance and bulldozed a new road outside the other. They used fans to help pump in air. Four thousand feet underground in the mine, rescuers said they reached Treadway first at 6 p.m. then Williams and Beverly 30 minutes later. All three walked out on their own.

One of the searchers told Reid the rescue mission could cost as much as $1 million.  

It is not uncommon in this financially strapped region for people to risk their lives by entering old mines to take and later sell copper wiring.

"They do whatever they can do to make money if they ain't got a job. That copper in there, that's what happens," said Kayla's father Randall Williams. "I know that's why she went in there."

News outlets reported Kayla Williams and Treadway surrendered to authorities Wednesday.  Eddie Williams and Beverly surrendered to authorities Friday.

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