Arrest made in case of abducted 18-year-old Anchorage barista

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 11:24 PM
Arrest made in case of abducted 18-year-old Anchorage barista

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A man has been arrested in Texas in connection with the disappearance of an 18-year-old barista who was abducted from a drive-up Alaska coffee stand six weeks ago, Anchorage police said on Thursday.

Israel Keyes, owner of an Anchorage construction company, was arrested on Tuesday in Lufkin, Texas. He was identified as a "person on interest" in the disappearance of Samantha Koenig, who was seized from the coffee stand on February 1, the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.

Keyes' arrest was coordinated by Anchorage police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, local law-enforcement agencies in Lufkin and the Texas Rangers, according to the statement.

He was being held at a federal facility in Beaumont, Texas, Anchorage police said. Details of the charges against Keyes were not released, and the federal arrest warrant was sealed, police said.

Koenig's whereabouts remain unknown and the public was still being asked to supply any potential information, Anchorage police said.

Police said Koenig was abducted as she finished her evening barista shift in an incident recorded on the coffee stand's video camera. Her disappearance has been a subject of keen interest in Alaska's largest city.

Posters identifying her as kidnapped are displayed around Anchorage. Friends and supporters held a candlelight vigil two weeks after her disappearance, and a reward fund has been established by her father and others for information leading to her safe return.

Keyes was arrested in a restaurant parking lot after he committed a traffic violation, according to a report by Lufkin television station KTRE. Local law-enforcement agents found evidence in his vehicle tying him to the kidnapping, the station reported.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)