UPDATE: New details emerge in case of missing man in Boone County mine

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UPDATE 12/20: New details emerge in the case of missing man, Wes Blackburn. On Monday, November 26, Blackburn along with Gary Gibson and Amanda Pennington, reportedly traveled to the Wells Complex Lightfoot #1 mine opening in Boone County. 

Pennington confirmed that she dropped two men off at the mine entrance, and the men had entered the mine nearby. The two men in the mine were identified by Pennington as Gary Gibson and Wes Blackburn.

The West Virginia State Police and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department continue to follow-up leads concerning the whereabouts of Wes Blackburn. Amanda Pennington currently stands charged with the felony crime of Conspiracy to Break and Enter an underground mine. Gary Gibson is charged with Breaking and Entering an underground mine and Conspiracy. Their cases await presentment to a Boone County grand jury.


Just days after mine rescue teams found three people who were missing in a Raleigh County mine, one family is asking questions regarding the efforts made to find their loved one.  Wes Blackburn was last seen on Nov. 25, 2018.

It was believed that Blackburn went into the Wells Complex Mine with a friend, Gary Gibson.  Gibson came out of the mine but told officials Blackburn went back inside.  Three rescuers went into the mine on Nov. 29 but were not able to locate Blackburn.

Since that time, a major rescue effort was made to find another group of people who went into a mine in Raleigh County.  Those people were all found, but the family of Wes Blackburn is asking why similar efforts were not made to find him.

To drive their message home, the family has organized a protest in front of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison, WV.  They lined up on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 with signs.  Some of those read “His Family Needs Answers,” and “Hey Jim, Where is Justice for Wes?”

Blackburn and his family live in Wyoming County.

59News has a crew at the courthouse to cover the event.  Watch for more updates as they become available.

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