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Samantha Koenig Update: Israel Keyes Charged With Federal Kidnapping Of Barista

By DAN JOLING 04/18/12 06:53 PM ET AP

Samantha Koenig
Samantha Koenig was abducted in February from the coffee stand where she worked allegedly by contractor Israel Keyes who was charged with her kidnapping on April 18.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Federal kidnapping charges were filed Wednesday against a contractor in the death of an 18-year-old Anchorage woman who was abducted from the coffee stand where she worked as a barista.

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler announced the charges against Israel Keyes during a news conference Wednesday.

He was indicted and charged with kidnapping that led to the death of Samantha Koenig, who was last seen being led away from the coffee stand by an armed man on Feb. 1. Keyes also was charged with receipt and possession of ransom money and fraud with an access device.

Koenig's body was recovered April 2 by a forensic dive team from Matanuska Lake north of the city.

Anchorage police have said Keyes was the only person of interest in Koenig's disappearance. He was arrested in Texas, accused of using a bank card that didn't belong to Koenig. He's been held in jail since pleading not guilty to the fraud charge on March 27.

"Investigators believe Samantha died within hours of her abduction," Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said at the time.

Police released few details of the investigation or Keyes' connection to the case.

"Investigators further believe the person responsible for Samantha's death acted alone, and we are confident that we have that person in custody," he said at the time, not even mentioning Keyes by name.

When Keyes, the owner of an Anchorage construction company, was transferred to Alaska by federal marshals, Koenig's father said she did not know Keyes.

Samantha Koenig was last seen on a surveillance tape at about 8 p.m., Feb. 1, being led away by a man with a weapon from the midtown Anchorage coffee shack where she worked.

Police classified it as an abduction based on Koenig's demeanor and the man's actions from the tape. Police refused to release the tape.

Koenig's family distributed thousands of flyers showing pictures of the missing woman and offered a reward for her return.

A memorial is planned for her Sunday at the West High School auditorium, and the public is invited to attend.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Samantha Koenig

    A kidnapper abducted 18-year-old Samantha Koenig at gunpoint from the coffee stand in Alaska where she worked as a barista on Feb. 1.

  • Father Offers Reward

    The body of Samantha Koenig was found April 2 by a forensic dive team in Matanuska Lake north of Anchorage, Alaska.

  • Samantha Koenig

    Contractor Israel Keyes has been charged with kidnapping Samantha Koenig by federal prosecutors.

  • Israel Keyes

    Israel Keyes was charged by federal prosecutors with kidnapping teenaged barista Samantha Koenig in February 2012. Koenig's body was found in a lake north of Anchorage, Alaska by divers in April. His dead body was found in his jail cell on Dec. 2, 2012 in an apparent suicide, according to law enforcement authorities.

  • Samantha Koenig Twitter page.


  • Samantha Koenig's MySpace profile. Source:


Filed by Michael McLaughlin  |