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Police say man was killed while stealing copper from Letcher mineFree Access

A Perry County man was found dead Wednesday morning, apparently from injuries caused by a fall 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. today 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 at the scene.

On further investigation, police determined that Caudill and his brother were attempting to steal copper from an abandoned mine 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. The Mine Safety and Health Administration was notified, and the case remains under investigation by Detective Brandon Thomas.

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