4 adults who entered West Virginia mine could face felony charges if their intention was to steal copper: Sheriff

PHOTO: Rescue personnel work to relieve people trapped at the Rock House Powellton mine in West Virginia.PlayDepartment of Defense
WATCH West Virginia authorities rescue 3 people trapped in abandoned mine

The four people who illegally entered a West Virginia mine, where they were trapped for days, could face felony charges if investigators determine they had intended to steal copper, authorities said.

The individuals entered the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek on Saturday, officials said.

Ed Williams, 43, escaped on Monday and told authorities the three others -- Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, -- were alive and still inside. The final three were rescued Wednesday night.

PHOTO: Cody Beverly is seen here in this undated file photo.Courtesy Beverly Family
Cody Beverly is seen here in this undated file photo.

PHOTO: Kayla Williams is seen here in an undated file photo.Courtesy Williams Family
Kayla Williams is seen here in an undated file photo.

Now that the rescue is complete, a criminal investigation is ongoing as authorities work to establish intent, Lt. M.A. McCray of the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office told ABC News Thursday.

Depending on what police find, they could face charges ranging from misdemeanor trespassing to felonies, McCray said.

PHOTO: Erica Treadway is seen here in this undated file photo.Courtesy Treadway Family
Erica Treadway is seen here in this undated file photo.

PHOTO: Ed Williams is seen here in this undated file photo.Courtesy Williams Family
Ed Williams is seen here in this undated file photo.

Interviews are underway, McCray said.

While the rescue efforts were happening, Kayla Williams' father, Randy Williams, told ABC News, "The reason they're in there is to get copper."

"It's worth money," he said. "A couple years ago it was up to almost $4 a pound. You could go into a mine and make $1,000 a day."

Hours after their rescue, Kayla Williams and Beverly spoke out, thanking those who helped save them.

"All the effort that everybody put in to get us out, we really appreciate it and we thank God," Kayla Williams told ABC News.

Beverly added, "Everyone who was involved in searching for us, I just wanna thank you, with everything inside of me. This is the biggest lesson I’ve ever learned in my life. This is a life-changing experience for me."

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