FILED IN: Tragic Endings

Missing Alaska teen's body believed to be found

Body of Samantha Koenig found by forensic dive team.

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18 year-old Samantha Koenig’s body has believed to been recovered by a forensic dive team at Matanuska Lake, which is north of Anchorage. Alaska’s state medical examiner will be conducting an autopsy, which help to identify the body as that of Ms. Koenig.

“Investigators believe that Samantha died within hours of being abducted” says Anchorage police chief Mark Mew. Samantha was last seen on surveillance video being led away from the coffee shop kiosk that she worked at, the Common Grounds coffee stand in the parking lot of the Alaska Club from Anchorage, Alaska on on February 1st by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap, at gunpoint. “Investigators further believe the person responsible for Samantha’s death acted alone, and we are confident that we have that person in custody.” Mew also added.

The suspect, Israel Keyes, who is the owner of a construction company, 34 was arraigned on March 27th in a federal court in Anchorage on a fraud charge, after he was returned from Texas, where he was arrested.  Keyes remains the only man who has been listed as a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Koenig.

In the weeks following Samantha’s disappearance, her family recruited friends and other family members to help distribute fliers showing pictures of Samantha, and offering a reward for her safe return. Police believed that the case was a kidnapping, and the FBI’s Special Agent in charge, Mary Rook told the media that the abduction seemed random, and that was what threw off investigators in the beginning, saying “I believe it was largely the dissociative nature of this crime that so perplexed investigators, at least initially.” James Koenig, Samantha’s father said that she did not know Keyes and believes that his daughter had been a victim of a random abduction.

The authorities are also asking that anyone with information about the movement of Keyes’ white Chevrolet pick-up truck to come forward and let them know.