‘I want my daughter out’: Search ongoing for three missing in abandoned mine

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stevenfoley/iStock(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) -- As crews search for three people believed to be trapped in an abandoned West Virginia mine, their worried loved ones are desperate for their safe rescue.

"I want my daughter out," Randy Williams, the father of trapped woman Kayla Williams, told ABC News.

Authorities believe four people illegally entered the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek around 3 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

One man managed to escape and said the three others -- Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21 -- were alive and still inside, officials said Tuesday.

"The reason they're in there is to get copper," Randy Williams told ABC News.

Though the alleged act is illegal, he added, "They're still our kids... I love every one of them."

As the search continues, the concerned father said he thinks the rescuers "need to be moving a little faster."

A criminal investigation is pending, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office said, though officials stressed that rescue efforts are the priority.

"Our priority is rescuing these individuals and maintaining the safety of our mine rescue teams," West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement Tuesday. "I have ordered the coordination of all resources needed for rescuers to continue to search the mine. We’re doing everything we can to accelerate the rescue."

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