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Anchorage police spent $413,186 investigating Koenig homicide

Alaska Dispatch

Anchorage Police said Thursday the cost to investigate the kidnapping and killing of Samantha Koenig cost the department more than $400,000.

KTUU reports that the department spent $413,186 in overtime to investigate the disappearance of the 19-year-old Anchorage barista who was abducted Feb. 1. That's dozens of times more expensive than the average homicide, which generally costs between $8,000 and $10,000 in overtime.

Police Chief Mark Mew told KTUU the case was more expensive because police believed Koenig could be alive. “We thought it was a homicide that could occur if we didn’t act quickly and work the case hard,” Mew told KTUU.

Mew also noted there was an additional $300,000 loss in ticket revenue because the traffic unit also worked on the case.

For months, friends and family remained hopeful Koenig would be found alive, posting flyers around town and offering a generous reward for any information on her disappearance. Two months after being abducted from the coffee stand she worked, Koenig's body was found in Matanuska Lake outside of Wasilla.

Israel Keyes, a 34-year-old Anchorage carpenter, has been charged in her kidnapping, resulting in death. A jury trial is scheduled to begin in March.

Mew told KTUU that homicides usually cost less because detectives are able to work their normal hours. If the department needs more money it can request it from the city assembly or the mayor, but won't stop investigating a case because of cost.

The police department has come under fire recently as the city's budget process begins. In one of Mayor Dan Sullivan's two proposed 2013 operating budgets, 29 police officers and 11 unfilled police positions would be cut.

On Wednesday the city announced the results of its 2011 Uniform Crime Report, which shows overall crime in the city down by about 6 percent.