ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who died in an apparent suicide this week in an Alaska jail after confessing to a string of killings across the country had sexually assaulted and strangled an Anchorage barista the day after he abducted her, then left her body in a shed while he went on a two-week cruise, the FBI said Tuesday.
In the most detailed account yet of what happened to Samantha Koenig, who disappeared in February, authorities said Israel Keyes told them he strangled the 18-year-old, then left her body in a shed outside his Anchorage house until he returned from his cruise from New Orleans.
Once home, Keyes posed Koenig's body to make it appear she was still alive and took a Polaroid photo of her tied up, along with a newspaper dated Feb. 13 — 12 days after the abduction from a coffee stand. He later typed a ransom note demanding $30,000 from Koenig's family on the back of a photocopy of the photo, sending a text message from the woman's cellphone with directions where he'd left the note at a local dog park.
Keyes dismembered Koenig's body and disposed of the remains in a frozen lake north of Anchorage after he cut a hole in the ice, the FBI said in a release.
Keyes, 34, was arrested in Koenig's death in March in Texas, after using her stolen debit card at ATMs there and in Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico.
After his arrest, Keyes confessed to killing Koenig and at least seven other people across the U.S. over the past decade. His other known victims were Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt., who disappeared in June 2011. Keyes told authorities he also sexually assaulted and strangled Lorraine Currier.
The couple's bodies have not been found.
Keyes confessed to other killings without identifying the victims or saying where their remains were, other than that four were killed in Washington state and one was killed on the East Coast with the body disposed of in New York. Keyes had lived in Washington state and had property in upstate New York.
Keyes, who faced a March trial in Koenig's death, was found dead Sunday in his Anchorage jail cell after he apparently killed himself.
Also Tuesday, authorities released video footage of Keyes abducting Koenig, caught by a surveillance camera. Another video shows him returning for her cellphone, followed four minutes later by a man identified by the FBI as Koenig's boyfriend, who was looking for her.