Anchorage, Alaska – Police are pretty positive the body recovered from an Alaska lake yesterday belongs to 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who went missing in February, and they have a suspect in custody.
Koenig disappeared while working as a barista at a coffee stand in Anchorage. When her boyfriend arrived to pick her up, she was not there and the Common Grounds stand had been locked up. A co-worker arrived the next morning to find the security alarm had not been set, money was missing and some of Koenig’s belongings were still in the stand.
A check of surveillance video would solve part of the mystery, as a man wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap can be seen forcing Koenig to accompany him. Based on Koenig’s demeanor and the man’s actions, detectives stated there was no doubt she had been abducted.
After months of few leads or information being released to the press, police in Texas arrested 34-year-old Israel “Izzy” Keyes in connection to Koenig’s disappearance. Keyes is a self-employed contractor whose website states he moved to Alaska in 2007 to start his own business. He was arrested and charged with fraud after using a Visa debit card stolen in Anchorage on the same night Koenig vanished.
Not long after, police were reporting that they had their one and only suspect in Koenig’s disappearance in custody. On Monday, dive teams were at the lake where they would find the body believed to belong to Koenig. Police are still keeping a tight grip on details, even refusing to take questions at a recent press conference, I’m wondering if Keyes finally confessed. I’m only basing this assumption on the fact that shortly after he is in custody, police were at the lake her body was found and telling reporters Koenig died within hours of what, they say, was a totally random abduction.
“Investigators found no direct association between the abductor and Samantha or any member of her family,” Mary Rook, the FBI’s special agent in charge, said at a recent news conference. “I believe it was largely the dissociative nature of this crime that so perplexed investigators, at least initially.”
As local and federal investigators continue their investigation, they are looking for anyone who may have seen Keyes’ three-quarter ton Chevrolet pickup in the area where Koenig was abducted, or the Alaska lake from which they retrieved her body. The truck was equipped with green tool boxes that run the length of the box on each side.
“We would like to reiterate our request for information relative to the movement of the white pickup truck,” Rook said. “Specifically, we want to hear from anyone who may have seen the truck in the vicinity of Matanuska Lake.”
Now here’s the interesting part. Keyes’ website states he worked in Washington state from 1995 to 1997, served in the Army for three years, and then worked in Washington again from 2001 to 2007 before moving to Alaska. That’s a bit of travelling and I wouldn’t be surprised if Keyes gets linked to some other unsolved, missing person cases.
As Chelsea Hoffman pointed out in her article, I hope this serves as another reminder for those of you quick to light your torches and sharpen your pitchforks with your e-mob cohorts, based purely on information gleaned from the news, blogs and talking heads. But I doubt it will.