The recovery of the body of Samantha Koenig from Matanuska Lake was an end that everyone dreaded. Now our thoughts and prayers go out to her father, the rest of her family and her friends and to all who held candles in vigils for her.
There's a heartbreaking, final absence where Samantha Koenig should be, memories where a lively young woman should be. No one can change that. The community has and should continue to give what comfort it can.
We don't know all the details yet; police have maintained silence in part, they've said, in the hope that Samantha Koenig was still alive, in part not to tip their hand in the hunt for suspects or persons of interest.
But clearly Koenig's fate was not a matter of fate or chance. One good way to respond to an outrage is to pursue justice, keep those wheels turning carefully, methodically, relentlessly.
Police say they have the suspect in custody. Custody, arrest and charges are one thing. Conviction is another. That's why the people who work the justice system need to be thorough and careful. And anyone who can help in the continuing investigation should still come forth.
Yes, families and communities want and need answers. But justice is worth patience. And speculation about what happened and how and why it shouldn't have happened and what the police have done and who's conspired to do what are noise, or worse. Some of the comments heard in the community have been silly or god-awful.
Today we mourn for Samantha Koenig and her family. Our work now is justice, care and keeping a better watch for our coffee shack baristas or anyone else who may be vulnerable working late and alone. They shouldn't have to worry about a stranger or anyone else coming out of the darkness to do them harm.
Offer a kind word to your barista today. And be aware of who's around. As former Anchorage police chief Duane Udland once said, if something doesn't look right, it probably isn't. If you see such circumstances, call police. Would that someone had been there to make that call for Samantha Koenig.
BOTTOM LINE: Our thoughts and prayers go to Samantha Koenig's family and friends; now let's make sure justice is done.