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Search for Teen Man in Abandoned Mine Called Off

January 16, 1996

TOOELE, Utah (AP) _ After two full days of searching, rescuers gave up hope late Monday of finding a teen-ager who fell off a ledge while exploring an abandoned mine believed to be more than 600 feet deep.

The search for Jerimiah Etherington was called off after a rescuer carrying lights rappelled down 450 feet and spotted nothing but debris, Sheriff Frank Scharmann said.

``Looks like we’re going to suspend the whole operation for good,″ Scharmann said. ``We haven’t found anything.″

Etherington, 18, of Magna, was believed to be buried under the debris.

Searchers and the young man’s cave-exploring buddies said they had heard nothing from Etherington since he fell Saturday afternoon.

Both Etherington and the rescuers were endangered by falling debris and the possibility of several feet of water at the bottom of the vertical shaft.

The Honorene Mine, about five miles west of Tooele and 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, is in an area dotted with hundreds of abandoned gold and copper mines.

Etherington’s mother said exploring old mines was a passion of her son and his friends.

``First they started camping here, then they discovered the mines,″ Connie Etherington said. ``You just think, well, at least he’s not involved in drugs and gangs.″

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