Police, FBI revisit Israel Keyes house

casey.grove@adn.comOctober 23, 2012 

— Federal agents and city crime scene investigators on Tuesday closed the quiet dead-end street in West Anchorage where Israel Keyes lived prior to his alleged February abduction and slaying of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, scouring the home and property for nearly 12 hours.

It is the third search at the light-blue home on Spurr Lane, in the Turnagain neighborhood, since Texas authorities arrested Keyes, 34, in March. An FBI spokesman and a federal prosecutor on the Keyes case both refused to say what triggered Tuesday's flurry of activity at the home. Neither would comment on what agents were looking for, or what they found.

"All I can say is the APD and FBI are executing a federal search warrant," said FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis said the warrant was sealed. Feldis would not say when prosecutors filed for the warrant. Such warrants must be executed within 10 days of a judge approving them, Feldis said.

One neighbor saw federal agents and Anchorage police officers working in the early morning light with metal detectors, starting in the driveway and moving to the back of the house. A new, unpainted Anchorage Police Department crime scene investigation motorhome could be seen parked in front of the residence. The agents and officers carried gear from the motorhome and two unmarked utility trucks, coming and going from the house throughout the day. FBI agents with cameras snapped pictures of small items in front of the home's garage and also worked in the backyard.

A neighbor said he saw the investigators at the home before 8 a.m. Most of the police vehicles were gone by 5 p.m., but one or two remained as the sun was setting.

Neighbors said Keyes lived at the home with his girlfriend, Kimberly Anderson, who is listed in property records as its owner. The couple mostly kept to themselves. Anderson has continued to live in the home, but Keyes' 10- or 11-year-old daughter hasn't been seen there since her father's arrest, neighbors said.

Keyes has been jailed since March 15.

Police say surveillance video shows Keyes abducting Koenig, 18, from the Midtown coffee stand where she was working the night of Feb. 1 and forcing her to walk away from the hut with him. According to police statements and a federal indictment filed against Keyes, he allegedly stole a debit card from someone with whom Koenig shared a vehicle, got a pass code for the card from Koenig, and killed her later that night or during the early morning hours the next day.

He then allegedly used the debit card in Alaska to steal money from the person's account and, after flying out of Alaska, came back to the state Feb. 17 and demanded ransom money using her cellphone, the indictment says. Keyes again flew out of Alaska, and in a series of withdrawals while wearing a mask, stole more money from the account using ATMs in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, the indictment says.

On March 13, six weeks after Koenig's disappearance, the authorities caught up with Keyes in Lufkin, Texas. He was arrested after a traffic stop for speeding -- though federal investigators were already on his trail, according to a charging document -- and he was soon brought back to Alaska.

Just after the arrest in Texas, police wearing helmets and body armor and carrying shotguns swarmed the Spurr Lane house, serving their first search warrant there. Among other evidence hauled away, the investigators took a trailer used for Keyes' one-man carpentry business, Keyes Construction.

Two weeks later, on March 30, police and federal agents again executed a search warrant at the house and property. With a rented forklift and flat-bed truck, they seized a shed and drove it to FBI headquarters downtown.

A dive team recovered Koenig's body April 2.

Many details of the investigation of Koenig's abduction and death -- including any connection of the shed with the case and what led the authorities to Matanuska Lake -- have never been made public.

Earlier this month, a court filing by prosecutors in the federal case against Keyes suggested he is the subject of other criminal investigations. No details were disclosed. Citing anonymous sources, a Vermont TV station reported in July that Keyes was the "prime suspect" in the 2011 disappearance of a husband and wife in Essex, Vermont.

 

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