- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2016

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia State Police have arrested five people in connection with copper thefts that left one person missing.

Local news organizations report that authorities arrested 21-year-old Dustin Bolen, 22-year-old Justin Bolen, 35-year-old Brandon Collins, 38-year-old Steve Cordle and 32-year-old Jimmy Church Jr. on Tuesday. They have been charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, transferring stolen property and trespassing.

In August, Justin Bolen, Collins, Cordle and 30-year-old Clay “C.J.” Epperly became trapped in an abandoned mine. Justin Bolen, Collins and Cordle were found by rescuers and brought out to safety, but Epperly was never found. He was eventually pronounced dead.

Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie says the suspects had been stealing copper from the mine for months.

All five men are being held in the McDowell County Holding Facility on $50,000 bond each. It’s unclear if they have attorneys.

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