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Israel Keyes, suspected serial killer, sexually assaulted and dismembered Alaska barista, FBI says

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Israel Keyes. Keyes committed suicide in an Alaska jailhouse Sunday, leaving behind an incomplete picture of a loner who traveled the country for more than a decade, picking victims at random and methodically killing them. (AP Photo/FBI) uncredited

Undated photo of Israel Keyes
AP Photo/FBI

(CBS/AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The suspected serial killer who died in an apparent suicide in his jail cell after confessing to killing an Anchorage barista, sexually assaulted and strangled the girl after he abducted her, then dismembered her body after returning from a cruise, the FBI said Tuesday.

Pictures: Man charged in Alaska barista's death kills self, cops say

The FBI released a comprehensive account of what happened to 18-year-old Samantha Koenig after she was kidnapped in February from an Anchorage coffee stand. The release came two days after 34-year-old Israel Keyes was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Authorities said Keyes confessed to killing at least seven other people across the country over the past decade.

Keyes left Koenig's body in a shed while he went on a two-week cruise, the FBI said. Once he returned, 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 on Feb. 13, 12 days after her abduction.

He later typed a ransom note demanding $30,000 from Koenig's family on the back of a photocopy of the photo and sent a text message to Koenig's boyfriend on her cellphone with directions on where to find the note at a local dog park.

Authorities said Keyes dismembered Koenig's body and disposed of the remains in a frozen lake north of Anchorage, after cutting a hole in the ice with a chain saw.

Keyes was arrested in March in Texas after using Koenig's stolen debit card at ATMs there, as well as in Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico. He was facing a March trial in Koenig's death.

After his arrest, Keyes confessed to killing Koenig and at least seven other people. 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 did not identify the other victims or say 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 lived in Washington state and had property in upstate New York.

Authorities released surveillance video footage on Tuesday of Keyes abducting Koenig. He pulls out a gun and climbs into the kiosk to bind her hands behind her back using zip ties. He leads her out of the kiosk, telling her that he would let her go if her family paid a ransom. But that was never his intention, police said.

"He knew all along he was going to kill her," Anchorage homicide Detective Monique Doll said.

Another video sequence shows Keyes returning for Koenig's cellphone late that night, leaving Koenig bound in his truck, followed four minutes later by a man identified by the FBI as Koenig's boyfriend, who was looking for her. Keyes would use the cellphone to send text messages to the boyfriend and coffee stand owner, pretending that they came from Koenig saying she had a bad day and was leaving town for the weekend.

Police said Keyes removed the battery from Koenig's cellphone to avoid being tracked. The FBI said Koenig broke away at some point and Keyes chased her, tackled her to the ground, and pointed his gun at her, saying she should not do anything to make him kill her.

Koenig's body was recovered from the lake in April after Keyes told authorities of its location.

Authorities said Keyes traveled extensively in the U.S., landing at one location and targeting victims randomly hundreds of miles apart. He had never seen Koenig before, but chose the coffee stand because of its location and because it stayed open later than other stands

Keyes told authorities he robbed several banks and used money he made as a general contractor to pay for his travel.

In the Koenig case, he stuck to his own town.

"He broke his own rule," Doll said.

Complete coverage of Israel Keyes on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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