ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Investigators say a man found dead of an apparent suicide in an Alaska jail was not only suspected of killing an Anchorage barista but may be linked to seven other possible slayings around the country.
Israel Keyes, who had also confessed to killing a Vermont couple, was found dead in his cell Sunday, authorities said at a news conference that included U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler, the FBI, and Anchorage police.
Keyes was facing a March trial in Anchorage federal court for the murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from a coffee kiosk in the city last February. He was later arrested in Texas after using the victim’s debit card.
Anchorage police chief Mark Mew said Keyes confessed to killing Koenig, as well as killing Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt.
The bodies of the Curriers have never been found. They were last seen leaving their jobs on June 8, 2011. Co-workers reported them missing the next day.
Keyes didn’t have a clear pattern in victims, who ranged widely in age, authorities said. Money appeared to be just a partial motive.
Authorities say they may never know the full extent of Keyes’ crimes because he parsed out only a little information at a time, withholding names and locations of most of his victims.
Keyes, 34, also indicated he killed four others in Washington state and one person in New York state, but didn’t give the victims’ names, authorities said.