ANCHORAGE (AP) — A man who owns a construction company in Anchorage has been arrested in Texas on charges related to the disappearance of an 18-year-old barista. authorities said Thursday.
Israel Keyes, 34, was arrested this week in Lufkin in the disappearance of Samantha Koenig, Anchorage police said.
“He’s the only person we charged, and the only person of interest. And the biggest thing at this time is that we haven’t found Samantha Koenig and we don’t know her whereabouts,” Detective Slawomir Markiewicz said.
The arrest warrant remains sealed and police have revealed few details in the incident that began Feb. 1 was Koenig was seen on a surveillance tape being led away against her will at about 8 p.m. from the coffee hut against where she worked by a man with a weapon.
The case has attracted strong interest in Alaska’s largest city. Koenig’s family distributed thousands of flyers showing pictures of the missing woman. Her face continues to be displayed on posters attached to cars, telephone poles and buildings.
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell confirmed that few details would be immediately released.
“Because of the sensitivity of the case, they sealed it so it didn’t compromise the case,” Shell told The Associated Press.
A charging document filed in at an East Texas federal courthouse charged Keyes with access device fraud, which in the past has been used to prosecute people who illegally use another person’s bank or credit card to steal money.
The police department announcement said the arrest was a combined effort of Anchorage police, the FBI and Texas authorities,
Shell said investigators want to speak to anyone who had personal contact with Keyes or his business, Keyes Construction.
“They’re just wanting to talk to anybody who may have had contact with him in the past, to see if there’s any links that they can put together,” Shell said. Investigators, she said, are trying to be thorough and believe someone who knows Keyes may be able to help them.
Police served a search warrant Thursday at a house in the Turnagain neighborhood and Markiewicz said Keyes there recently. It was the latest of nearly 40 search warrants served at homes or in efforts to get phone records, Markiewicz said.
The Keyes Construction website said the company offered “foundations to finish work.”
It says Keyes worked in Washington from 1995 to 1997, served in the Army for three years, and from 2001 to 2007 worked for the Makah Tribal Council in Neah Bay, Wash. He started his Alaska business in 2007.