Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Former Patriot Coal CEO Murdered

Tyler Durden's picture
While the US coal industry has had its share of bad news in the past year, following extensive plant shutdowns and numerous bankruptcies including that of the largest US coal producer Peabody Energy, there was some even more tragic news last night when as AP reported, West Virginia State Police say longtime coal company executive and recent Patriot Coal CEO Bennett K. Hatfield has been murdered.
Last night, the local press reported that Hatfield, 59, was shot to death Monday at Mountain View Memory Gardens, a cemetery in southern West Virginia's Mingo County.
Hatfield resigned in 2015 as president and CEO of Patriot Coal, a month before the company, headquartered in Creve Coeur until early 2015,  filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time. He was International Coal Group's CEO when a 2006 explosion at the Sago Mine in northern West Virginia killed 12 miners.

Bennett K. Hatfield, file photo from May 4, 2006
Sgt. M.S. Lively says Hatfield's body was found early Monday and was believed to have been dead about 12 hours. Smith says authorities traced his cellphone to Mountain View Memory Gardens cemetery in Maher, where his body was found.
But before the suicide rumors started swirling, earlier this morning St. Louis Today reported that an Ohio man was arrested in the death of Hatfield. Anthony R. Arriaga, 20, is being held on a first-degree murder warrant in Allen County, Ohio, Mingo County Sheriff James Smith said. Jail records listed Arriaga's hometown as Delphos, Ohio. The records didn't indicate whether he has an attorney.

Anthony Raheem Arriaga is shown in a photo provided
by the Allen County (Ohio) Sheriff’s office,Tuesday,
The sheriff didn't immediately release a motive.
He said state police dogs found a weapon along a river bank next to the cemetery. Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish said Arriaga faced an extradition hearing later Tuesday. Authorities believe Arriaga sneaked along the river bank and asked some neighbors to take him to Wayne County, Smith said. A man who drove Arriaga contacted authorities after hearing about Hatfield's death.
"Once he heard what was going on, he let us know he gave this subject a ride to Wayne County," Smith said.
A state police team helped track the suspect to Wayne County and eventually into Ohio. Smith said authorities had been stumped until the neighbor stepped forward.
Hatfield's girlfriend had reported him missing after he didn't return home, and authorities traced his cellphone to the cemetery, where his body was found, Smith said. An autopsy by the state medical examiner was ongoing.
Hatfield's twin brother, Dennis Hatfield of Louisa, Ky., was likewise a longtime coal industry executive, including at Massey Energy.
"Ben Hatfield was well known, not just for his many accomplishments within the industry, but also as a mentor to so many of us," said Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association. "His kindness and compassion were legendary, as was his intellect and ability. His belief in those around him often succeeded our belief in ourselves, which made you work that much harder to accomplish the task at hand."


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