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Fall into Gordon mine shaft fatal

A Perry County man was found dead last week, apparently from injuries received while attempting to steal copper from an abandoned mine in Letcher County, police said.

Kentucky State Police at Post 13 in Hazard received a call at 4:27 a.m. on March 10 reporting a dead man at a residence on Cassie Road at Viper.

Troopers and detectives responded and located Zachary Caudill, 35, of Viper, with signs of blunt force trauma to his body. The Perry County Coroner’s Office pronounced him dead.

On further investigation, police determined that Caudill and his brother were attempting to steal copper from an abandoned mine at Gordon in Letcher County when Caudill fell down the mine ventilation shaft and was severely injured. He was taken by personal vehicle to his home, where police found his body.

An autopsy is scheduled, and the results are pending. KSP notified the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the case remains under investigation by state police Detective Brandon Thomas.

Police have not publicly identified or charged the brother with Caudill’s death.

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