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anouchka/iStock(SEATTLE) -- A string of attacks on houses of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses in Washington state are under investigation.

There have been four instances of arson and one shooting -- spanning nine months and four locations -- that investigators believe are connected to one another.

"As these incidents were located in close proximity to each other, it is believed that they are related," said Jason Chudy, the public information officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Seattle division.

"ATF is working closely with multiple local law enforcement agencies in these ongoing investigations," Chudy said.

Chudy said that the investigation is ongoing and they are not publicly discussing "any suspects, if any, that we've identified."

March 19: Two arson attacks

Two different houses of worship, referred to as Kingdom Halls, were targeted on the same day.

The two houses of worship, one in Tumwater, the other three miles away in Olympia, were set on fire.

"Damage to both was minor, limited to the exterior structures," Chudy said.

Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle said that the Tumwater building sustained about $15,000 worth of damage, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

May 15: Shooting

A little under two months later, another house of worship was attacked in the town of Yelm.

In this case, a suspect or suspects fired 35 rifle rounds at the Kingdom Hall.

Chudy said the shooting caused more than $10,000 in damage.

July 3: Arson

The fourth attack revisited one of the earlier targets, as the Kingdom Hall on Cain Road in the town of Olympia was lit on fire once again.

This attack "completely destroyed" the building, Chudy said.

On July 18, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said that the four attacks up to this point are considered hate crimes, according to KOMO-TV.

Dec. 7: Arson

After a five-month break, another attack was reported at the Kingdom Hall in the town of Lacey, closer to the first two targets. The building was "completely destroyed."

Snaza expressed frustration at the series of attacks.

"Why is this specific religion being targeted? Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?" Snaza said, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

"It makes you feel really ill about somebody who has some sort of animosity towards any religion, yet alone a Jehovah's Witness of Kingdom Hall," Snaza said, according to KOMO. "So how frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it's being destroyed?"

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KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- Two nuns accused of embezzling at least $500,000 in tuition, fees and donations from a Southern California Catholic school have been removed from public ministry, according to the religious order they were serving under.

Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang allegedly stole the funds by depositing checks for tuition and fees for the St. James Catholic School in Redondo Beach -- about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles -- into a "long forgotten" bank account opened in 1997, The Press-Telegram, a Long Beach, California-based newspaper, reported. The sisters were the only two who knew about the bank account, according to the local newspaper.

They allegedly used some of the money to go on trips and gamble at casinos, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York told ABC News over the weekend.

Kreuper, the school principal, would handle all checks made out to the school for tuition and fees before handing them over to bookkeeping for processing, according to The Press-Telegram.

The nuns have been removed from their residence and placed in a religious house under the supervision of community leadership, the religious order they belong to, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, said in a statement.

The half-million figure only represents what auditors have been able to trace in six years' worth of bank records and may not include cash transactions, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told parents at an alumni meeting last week, according to The Press-Telegram.

Both nuns retired earlier this year. They "take full responsibility for the choices they made and are subject to the law," the order said.

Although Monsignor Michael Meyers, pastor for the school, initially wrote in his letter that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not wish to pursue criminal proceedings, the Archdiocese has since filed a criminal complaint with the Torrance Police Department, the order wrote in its statement. Other staff members at the church were not implicated, Meyers wrote

The Torrance Police Department did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

The order plans to pay all the money back once a final sum of what was taken has been determined, it said.

"We are unable to confirm any sum until the discovery phase is completed," the order said. "We intend to make restitution to St. James School as soon as a total is known. Justice demands this of us."

The order apologized for the nuns' actions.

"The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are concerned and saddened by this situation and regret any pain this has caused many in our Church, especially the families connected to St. James School," they said. "We hold the sorrow of our Sisters’ actions deep in our community hearts."

No student or program has "suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations" as a result of the misappropriation of funds, Meyers wrote to parents, emphasizing that their children's education "has not and will not be affected by these events."

ABC News could not reach Kreuper or Chang for comment. It is unclear if they have retained attorneys.

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Michał Chodyra/iStock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- A jury recommends that the man who rammed his car into a crowd of people during the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville in 2017 should spend life in prison plus 419 years behind bars.

James Alex Fields, 21, was found guilty of first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding and three counts of malicious wounding in the incident.

The judge in the case will ultimately hand down the sentence.

Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who was killed in the crash, spoke after the sentencing of how she "trusted the system of justice to handle what it needed to handle."

"I thank the jury for their careful and thoughtful work," she said. "In the end, the hands of justice say he needs to be kept away from society for a while, and I'm content with that."

Bro said that she is "kind of running through 50 different emotions" at the moment and "it's so hard to process."

"We've all been damaged permanently but we do survive. We do move forward. We don't stay in that dark place," Bro said.

The 10 charges Fields faced in this trial in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court are separate from the 30 federal charges he faces that relate to hate crimes. One of those federal charges is eligible for the death penalty. He entered a not guilty plea in both the Circuit Court case and to the federal charges.

The sentence came the day after jurors heard victim impact statements from Bro and several people who suffered injuries in the August 2017 crash.

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St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) -- A 16-year-old Indiana high school football player arrested in the stabbing death of a classmate pregnant with his child pleaded not guilty to murder charges Tuesday.

Aaron Trejo, 16, is charged as an adult in the killing of 17-year-old Breana Rouhselang, who was six months pregnant. Her body, stabbed multiple times, was found in a dumpster near her home in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Trejo was arraigned Tuesday afternoon via video conference in St. Joseph County Superior Court in South Bend and pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and feticide.

Trejo listened calmly as a judge read the charges against him before asking him to enter his plea.

The judge ordered that he be held in jail without bond pending a Dec. 19 hearing.

Trejo allegedly admitted to investigators that he stabbed Rouhselang in the heart with a knife Saturday night after they argued over her pregnancy, according to a charging document.

He allegedly told police that he went to Rouhselang's house with a knife "because he thought it would kill Breana quickly," according to the charging document.

"I took action....I took her life," Trejo allegedly told police, the affidavit states.

Roushelang's mother woke up around 1 a.m. Sunday and became concerned when she didn't find her daughter at home, according to the court documents. She went to Trejo's home several blocks from her house, but Trejo said he didn't know of Breana's whereabouts.

The mother then called the police to report her daughter missing, police said.

An autopsy determined that Breana died from multiple stab wounds and that she had been strangled with her own scarf.

Trejo allegedly told detectives that he planned for a week to kill Breana because she had waited to tell him about her pregnancy until it was too late for her to get an abortion, according to the charging document.

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KTRK-TV(HOUSTON) -- A sheriff's deputy and two officials from the Texas attorney general's office were shot while trying to serve a felony warrant at a home in Houston, authorities said.

The three victims were hospitalized but are "are awake and alert" and expected to survive, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.

Five agents from the attorney general's office and two sheriff's office investigators arrived at the home to serve the warrant at about 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, Edison Toquica, chief deputy for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters.

The suspect started shooting when they reached the threshold of the door, Toquica said, and the officers returned fire.

A suspect is barricaded inside the house, Toquica said.

"Deputies secured the scene with a strict perimeter," he said. "It is an active scene at this time."

The warrant, for violation of a protective order, stemmed from "aggravated assault, family violence," Toquica said.

A second suspect is in custody, Gonzalez tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

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JodiJacobson/iStock(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) --  Rescue teams were exploring an underground West Virginia coal mine on Tuesday in search of two women and a man, after the fourth person in the group emerged on Monday night to report the location of the remaining three, according to mining and state officials.

The two women and two men -- local officials initially described the group as four men -- were reported missing late Saturday near the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training (MHS&T), which dispatched mining rescue teams along with other state and local resources.

The three remaining people inside the mine include Kayla Williams, 25 Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, according to the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office Lt. M.A. McCray.

Eddie Williams, 43, emerged from the mine alone and reported the location of the missing trio to authorities, the sheriff's office spokesperson said.

MHS&T officials activated the mine rescue team early Sunday morning after an abandoned ATV the group was believed to be riding was found near the mine entrance, officials said.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said he and other state and local officials are doing everything they can to reach the men.

"From the beginning I’ve said we needed to use all the resources available to us," Justice said, according to a state press release.

"Many prayers were answered when the one individual exited the mine with information about where the others were located," he continued in the statement.

"We are praying they can be found quickly and brought out to safety.”

MHS&T rescue personnel are working with the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia State Police, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office to coordinate the rescue mission, officials said.

McCray said the entry point to the mine was sealed at one point with a concrete wall and a fence across it, but had been since been torn down. McCray did not know whether the group now missing removed the barriers.

The individuals did not enter at the main entrance, McCray said, but rather used what’s called a “punch out hole” – a small shaft either accidentally punched out of the side of a mountain or created for ventilation.

McCray also said that a criminal investigation is pending, but is currently secondary to the rescue effort. It remained unclear on Tuesday what prompted the investigation.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Three people have died in North Carolina after a massive, "unforgettable" snowstorm pummeled the state, the governor said Tuesday.

A driver was trying to free his stuck car on Monday when he began to have medical problems, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. The driver died at a hospital, he said.

Another driver died in the town of Matthews on Sunday after a tree struck his car. The driver then plowed through the front lawn of a church, hitting the building, local police said.

In Haywood County, a woman on hospice care died when her oxygen concentrator stopped working from a power outage, the governor’s office said.

Beyond the three confirmed storm-related deaths, one additional death is under investigation, Cooper said Tuesday.

The storm -- described by the governor as a "nightmare" -- dropped staggering amounts of snow, ice and rain across North Carolina, with a year's worth of snow falling in some places in just one day. The most snowfall was 34 inches in the mountains of North Carolina.

While the storm has moved on, fallen trees, downed power lines and slippery roads still remain, Cooper said Tuesday.

There were 38,000 households still without power as of Tuesday morning, he said.

Cooper also warned that the frigid temperatures overnight are transforming slushy roads into dangerous ice.

The state's highway patrol has responded to 2,300 accidents, he said.

"If conditions in your area are still dangerous, don't take the risk. Sit tight," Cooper said.

Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee also saw over 1 foot of snow in some areas.

The forecast


That storm may have moved eastward, but freezing temperatures remain. Brutal wind chills hit much of the eastern U.S. Tuesday, including the South.

The National Weather Service has warned drivers to be mindful of black ice.

Meanwhile, in the West, six states are under snow, wind or flood alerts ahead of a new storm system approaching the Pacific Northwest.

Heavier rainfall is expected in the Northwest on Tuesday, and may lead to flash flooding as winds exceed 50 mph.

On Wednesday morning, the storm that brought rain to the Northwest will likely will move east and drop heavy snow, with 1 to 3 feet expected from the Cascades into the Rockies.

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BrianAJackson/iStock(PITTSBURGH) -- Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh are now deciding whether or not to seek the death penalty for alleged synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, according to a new court filing.

The case against Bowers, who is charged with federal hate crimes including the murder of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue, returned to court briefly on Tuesday without the defendant present.

During the hearing, attorneys referenced a document filed by U.S. Attorney Scott Brady indicating the Justice Department has now begun the process of deciding whether Bowers should be put to death.

“Ultimately, the Attorney General will render a decision whether or not to direct that a notice of intent to seek the death penalty be filed,” the filing said.

Bowers is charged with 44 separate counts, 32 of which carry the possibility of the death penalty, in connection with the Oct. 27 massacre at the synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The Anti-Defamation League called it the “deadliest” anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

He has pleaded not guilty.

According to the indictment, Bowers drove to the synagogue where members of three congregations gathered for Sabbath worship. He entered the building with multiple firearms, including Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle.

While inside, the FBI said that Bowers opened fire, killing and injuring people, as well as injuring multiple public safety officers who responded to the incident.

He allegedly made statements indicating his desire to “kill Jews.”

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Prathaan/iStock(LINDEN, Ala.) -- A 9-year-old girl’s death is being investigated in light of accusations that she was bullied at school and school administrators were warned about it.

McKenzie Adams, who was a fourth grader at U.S. Jones Elementary School in Linden, Alabama, was found hanged in the home where she lived with her grandmother on Dec. 3.

"Instead of shopping for Christmas, we're picking out caskets for my 9-year-old," her grandmother, Janice Adams, told ABC News.

"She was a real sweet girl," Janice Adams said, adding that McKenzie "wanted to be a scientist."

Linden's police chief said that there are conflicting reports coming from the girl’s relatives and school administrators about whether or not school officials were told about the alleged bullying.

“According to [school officials], there was no report of bullying made to them officially. But the grandmother did say that she did make a report to the school … but right now, it’s unclear if it was an official report or a conversation,” Linden Police Chief Robert Alston told ABC News.

Alston said McKenzie's death has not been ruled a suicide but investigators are treating it as an "apparent suicide."

Alston said that there was an alleged "note-passing incident" with another student the week before McKenzie's death.

"According to the grandmother, she has kids in the classroom … that were making remarks to her and calling her some derogatory names and she had gotten into a little bit of a note-passing incident where they were saying derogatory things towards each other and the teacher found the note and reprimanded both of them," Alston said. The Demopolis City School System put out a statement extending “its heartfelt wishes and condolences to the family, friends, students and teachers that have been affected by this tragedy.”

“We are fully cooperating with the Demopolis and Linden Police Departments in their joint investigation of this incident and will continue to make the Demopolis City School System a safe and secure place to educate our children,” the statement read.

Alston said that the police have interviewed “at least nine” teachers and school administrators as part of the ongoing investigation and they “plan on talking to some of her classmates.”

“All the teachers say McKenzie was a happy little girl, always joking and laughing,” Alston said, adding that the apparent suicide was “alarming and surprising to everybody that knew her.”

Jasmine Adams, McKenzie’s mother, said that the nature of the bullying, which she did not explicitly detail, caught her off guard.

Jasmine Adams told local station CBS42 it involved “things you wouldn’t think a 9-year-old should know, and before my baby could tell me some of the things that they said to her, I was just like ‘Where are they learning this from?’”

McKenzie’s aunt, Eddwina Harris, told The Tuscaloosa News that the bullying was centered around her niece’s friendship with a boy.

“She was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as ‘Kill yourself,’ ‘You think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,’ ‘You ugly,’ ‘Black b----,’ ‘Just die,’” Harris told the local newspaper.

McKenzie Adams’ funeral will be held at the school on Dec. 15.

“We will continue to make grief counselors, crisis counselors and mental health professionals available to all of our students and teachers,” the school district said in their statement.

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tzahiV/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Charges have been dropped against a mother seen in a viral video having her baby yanked from her arms by police and security guards at a New York City social services office, where she went to seek help.

The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said Tuesday that it will not pursue charges against 23-year-old Jazmine Headley.

"Continuing to pursue this case will not serve any purpose and I therefore moved today to dismiss it immediately in the interest of justice," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. "Discretion is the better part of valor and we must be thoughtful and compassionate in evaluating the merit of our cases."

Gonzalez said a security guard at the Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn "escalated the situation" that drew New York City police officers in the confrontation that occurred Friday afternoon.

"An HRA officer escalated the situation as Ms. Headley was about to leave the premises, creating an awful scenario of a baby being torn from his mother," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez made the decision to drop the charges after speaking with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about the incident.

"I applaud the DA's decision to do so," de Blasio said Tuesday. "[Headley] should be reunited with her child as soon as possible."

Headley was still being held at Rikers Island jail in New York on an unrelated warrant issued by a judge in 2017 in Mercer County, New Jersey.

A warrant for Headley was issued by a Mercer County Superior Court judge on July 17, 2017, when Headley failed to appear for an arraignment, Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, told ABC News on Tuesday.

Headley and two alleged accomplices were indicted by a grand jury in March 2017 on felony counts of third-degree credit card theft and fourth-degree identity theft, according to court records. Headley was arrested on July 23, 2016, in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, as part of a police investigation into the use of counterfeit credit cards, according to records.

Gonzalez's office said on Monday that it was reaching out to New Jersey authorities on behalf of Headley "to expedite her release."

"The consequences this young and desperate mother has already suffered as a result of this arrest far outweigh any conduct that may have led to it: she and her baby have been traumatized, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences," Gonzalez said.

NYPD officials said in a statement that officers were called to the city Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn just before 1 p.m. on Friday.

"The NYPD was called after office staff and HRA peace officers made unsuccessful attempts to remove this individual from the facility due to her disorderly conduct towards others, and for obstructing a hallway," police said in a statement.

Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, said her office has assigned an attorney to represent Headley. She said the woman went to the social services office to determine why daycare vouchers for her child were suddenly cut off.

The office was crowded and there were no seats available when Headley arrived, her mother Jacqueline Jenkins said. She said her daughter sat on the floor with her 1-year-old son, Damone, to keep him calm.

Schreibersdorf said Headley took a day off from her job as a security guard in hopes or resolving the daycare problems. She said Headley had been waiting at the office for four hours before the police were called on her.

A cellphone video of the incident taken by a witness shows at least three NYPD officers, including a sergeant, and HRA security guards trying to get Headley to release her baby.

"They're hurting my son! They're hurting my son!" Headley is heard screaming in the video.

One officer appeared to grab Damone and yank hard several times in an attempt to remove him from Headley's arms. A crowd of people gathered around the officers, yelling for them to stop and attempting to explain that Headley had not been bothering anyone.

At one point, an officer is seen in the video pulling out a stun gun and appearing to point it at the crowd, ordering people to step back. The officer also appeared to point the stun gun at Headley but it was never deployed, the video shows.

Police were eventually able to wrest the baby away and place Headley under arrest. The city Administration for Child Protective Services was initially called in to take custody of the child, who was later turned over to Jenkins.

Police officials said the HRA guards were the ones who initially took Headley to the floor when she refused to leave.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill described the video as "disturbing" and ordered an investigation.

Two HRA peace officers were placed on modified duty as a result of the incident, Steven Banks, commissioner of the city Human Resources Administration, said in a statement Monday evening, saying he is "deeply troubled by the incident."

Officers and staff will be trained "better" to diffuse situations "before the NYPD is called for assistance" and will also be offered refresher de-escalation training, Banks said.

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Kuhnla family(NEW YORK) -- The grieving husband of a woman mysteriously killed in on vacation in Turks and Caicos is still desperate for answers two months after her death.

Marie Kuhnla, 61, of Long Island, was found dead in the bushes near the Club Med Resort where she was staying on Oct. 16, prompting a murder investigation, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said at the time.

Kuhnla's friends and co-workers from the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society, Kim Nohilly and Helma Hermans, were on the trip with her, as well as Nohilly's 26-year-old daughter, the women told ABC New York station WABC-TV.

The last time the women saw Kuhnla was the night of Oct. 14 and they reported her missing the next day, according to WABC-TV.

Her husband, Rick Kuhnla, is still overcome with emotion as he tries to talk about his wife of 38 years. "She was murdered," he told WABC in an exclusive interview. "I could at least say it now. I couldn't say it a month ago."

Rick Kuhnla spoke to WABC at his home, where his kitchen table is still covered with condolence cards.

In October the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police said Marie Kuhnla's death had prompted them to open a murder investigation.

"I would ask that anyone with any information to please contact the investigators from the Serious Crime Unit or you can call in confidence at Crimestoppers on 1-800-8477," Trevor Botting, acting commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police, said at the time the investigation was opened.

But Rick Kunhla told WABC the police have not done enough to solve the crime.

"Their only industry there is tourism," he said of Turks and Caicos. "You would feel [the local police would] be motivated to solve it quickly, but you can't help but think they want to sweep it under the rug."

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force did not immediately respond Tuesday to ABC News' request for comment about the case.

Meanwhile, Marie Kuhnla's family vows to never forget her impact.

"She was a loving, caring, compassionate woman who I was lucky to have for a mom," Marie Kuhnla's son, Rick Kuhnla Jr., said in a statement in October. "If she saw someone who needed help, she would help them."

"She went back to school later in life to earn her law degree and spent over 15 years as a public defender, providing legal assistance to those who could not afford it," he said.

Rick Kuhnla Jr. said his mother often visited his elderly grandmother, "taking her out to eat and keeping her company."

"She was a wonderful woman who brightened the day of everyone who knew her and many who didn't," he said. "She may be gone but the impact she had on the world and inspiration she provided most certainly is not."

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File photo: West Virginia Mining. Credit: ScottNodine/iStock(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) -- Rescue teams were exploring an underground West Virginia coal mine on Tuesday in search of two women and a man, after the fourth person in the group emerged on Monday night to report the location of the remaining three, according to mining and state officials.

The two women and two men -- local officials initially described the group as four men -- were reported missing late Saturday near the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training (MHS&T), which dispatched mining rescue teams along with other state and local resources.

The three remaining people inside the mine include Kayla Williams, 25 Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, according to the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office Lt. M.A. McCray.

Eddie Williams, 43, emerged from the mine alone and reported the location of the missing trio to authorities, the sheriff's office spokesperson said.

MHS&T officials activated the mine rescue team early Sunday morning after an abandoned ATV the group was believed to be riding was found near the mine entrance, officials said.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said he and other state and local officials are doing everything they can to reach the men.

"From the beginning I’ve said we needed to use all the resources available to us," Justice said, according to a state press release.

"Many prayers were answered when the one individual exited the mine with information about where the others were located," he continued in the statement.

"We are praying they can be found quickly and brought out to safety.”

MHS&T rescue personnel are working with the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia State Police, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office to coordinate the rescue mission, officials said.

McCray said the entry point to the mine was sealed at one point with a concrete wall and a fence across it, but had been since been torn down. McCray did not know whether the group now missing removed the barriers.

The individuals did not enter at the main entrance, McCray said, but rather used what’s called a “punch out hole” – a small shaft either accidentally punched out of the side of a mountain or created for ventilation.

McCray also said that a criminal investigation is pending, but is currently secondary to the rescue effort. It remained unclear on Tuesday what prompted the investigation.

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MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette newspaper of Maryland that endured a mass shooting, and three Reuters reporters persecuted for their reporting have all been chosen as Time magazine's Person of the Year.

"As we looked at the choices it became clear that the manipulation and abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year's major stories from Russia to Riyadh, to Silicon Valley," Edward Felsenthal, Time editor in chief, said Tuesday morning on NBC's Today show. "And so we chose to highlight four individuals and one group who have taken great risks in pursuit of greater truths."

Khashoggi, 59, a Saudi journalist in self-imposed exile, was allegedly murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October. Investigators believe his death stemmed from his critical reporting of the Saudi government.

"This is the first time we've ever chosen someone no longer alive as the Person of the Year. But it's also very rare that a person's influence grows so immensely in death," Felsenthal said. "His murder prompted a global reassessment of the Saudi Crown Prince and a really long overdue look at the devastating war in Yemen."

Others selected were:

-- The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, which was attacked by a gunman in June. Five staffers were killed.

"The Gazette, one of the oldest papers in America, did what it's done before the Revolution and got a paper out the next day and continues to do so with courage," Felsenthal said.

-- Maria Ressa, a Reuters journalist who has come under attack for her reporting of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Felsenthal described Ressa as an "an extraordinary individual who has relentlessly pursued the current story in the Philippines."

"She has exposed Duterte's propaganda machine, the extrajudicial killings and ... she's been a legal target in the Philippines, currently under indictment in what many perceive as retribution for her reporting," he said.

-- Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters reporters currently detained in Myanmar for their investigative reporting that uncovered the mass killing of Muslims.

"Two amazing reporters who exposed a mass killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and are in prison a year to the day tomorrow as a result of their reporting," Felsenthal said.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Mountainous areas of North Carolina saw almost 3 feet of snow from the recent storm that stranded motorists and left hundreds of thousands without electricity.

That storm may have moved eastward, but freezing temperatures remain and morning commuters should brace themselves for slick conditions. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory for black ice along with the slippery conditions.

In northern Florida, a freeze warning has been issued -- the same applies for parts of Georgia and Louisiana.

Cold wind chills are being felt up and down the coast and throughout much of the eastern U.S. Tuesday morning, with lots of temperatures in the 20s and 30s.

Six states out West are under snow, wind or flood alerts ahead of a new storm system approaching the Pacific Northwest.

Later Tuesday morning and into the afternoon, heavier rainfall in the Northwest may lead to flash flooding as winds exceed 50 mph. That storm likely will move east Wednesday morning and deposit heavy snow, with 1 to 3 feet expected from the Cascades into the Rockies.

The storm system should move into the central U.S. on Thursday, with heavy rain likely in the South and some wet snow likely in the Plains and Great Lakes region.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A man is in custody after a possible road-rage incident led to the death of a New York City firefighter, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Faizal Coto, 33, of the New York Fire Department, was killed Sunday morning, police said.

Coto’s car collided with the suspect’s silver Infiniti on the Belt Parkway just before 5 a.m. Sunday, police said. The cars pulled over and shortly after the suspect’s car took off.

The victim was found on the ground next to his car, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his face and head, police said.

Coto was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.

Surveillance video from that night showed Coto, a three-year FDNY employee, pulling his 2008 Ford Mustang over to the right shoulder of the road in the Bath Beach area of Brooklyn. Another vehicle then pulled up next to him.

Coto was found on the side of the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn around 5 a.m., suffering from blunt force trauma to the head, police said.

Joseph Desmond, the owner of the Infiniti involved in the incident, was arrested Monday by the U.S. Marshals in New Jersey, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

No charges have been filed against Desmond, 29, in connection with Coto’s death, sources said, though Coto's death was ruled a homicide, according to police.

Authorities released images of the vehicle of interest, which they described as a gray or silver Infiniti G35.

Desmond is being held in Middlesex County, New Jersey, on charges of being a fugitive from justice in New York, sources said.

Meanwhile, firefighters gathered in Brooklyn Monday, donning protection gear and stiff salutes, to pay tribute to the fallen officer.

Coto served in Brooklyn's Coney Island neighborhood.

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