A man held in connection with the disappearance of an Alaska teen has been indicted on two new charges: kidnapping resulting in death and receipt and possession of ransom money. Federal court documents filed Wednesday shed some light on what authorities believe happened to 18-year-old Samantha Koenig on the night February 1.
34-year-old Israel Keyes is accused of abducting Koenig from the coffee hut where she worked, killing her and then using her cell phone to demand ransom money, according to the indictment. Koenig’s body was found in Matanuska Lake on April 2.
The indictment states that Keyes allegedly stole a debit card from a car Koenig shared and obtained the pin number for the card from her. Prosecutors claim he used it several times between February 28 and March 13 to withdraw about $2,400 in ransom money from ATMs in several states, including Texas, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
Keyes was arrested in Lufkin, Texas in mid-March and authorities initially refused to say how he was connected to the Koenig case. Until Wednesday’s indictment, he was being held without bond on a charge of access device fraud. A detention order described him as a “serious” flight risk and a potential danger to the community if released.
The indictment alleges that Keyes “intentionally inflicted serious bodily injury that resulted in the death of Samantha Koenig” and refers to “an act of violence” that “created a grave risk of death,” but it does not reveal how she was killed or what led authorities to search for her body in the lake.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Keyes entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment in federal court Thursday.
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