Two Attempt to Steal Copper from Mine

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Keystone, W.Va.-- Courtesy of the West Virginia State Police:

On Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, at approximately 3 p.m., 31-year-old Benny McPeak, from Northfork, W.Va., contacted McDowell County 911 to report his friend, 36-year-old Matthew Osborne, from Crumpler, W.Va., as a missing person. Mr. McPeak advised that he was not sure of Mr. Osborne’s location but had overheard him say that he was going to steal copper from an abandoned mine near Burke Mountain, in Keystone, W.Va. (Bluestone Coal Company). Members of the West Virginia State Police and a mine rescue team responded to the mine and began search efforts. At approximately, 10 p.m., Mr. Osborne was located and found to be unresponsive due to poor air quality. Eventually, he regained consciousness on the scene and was then transported to Welch Community Hospital for treatment.

Troopers determined that on the previous night, Mr. McPeak and Mr. Osborne entered the mine together with the intent to steal scrap copper. Once inside they became separated and Mr. Osborne was unable to find his way out. Mr. McPeak was arrested for breaking and entering and attempting to commit a felony. Once Mr. Osborne is released from the hospital, he will be arrested as well.