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Malone Telegram
Thu., Apr. 17
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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Murder suspect owns property in Constable

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MALONE - An Anchorage man detained in Alaska on murder charges – and who some, including law enforcement, believe may be a serial killer – owns property in Constable.

Israel Keyes, 34, was arrested in Texas on March 13 and charged with the Feb. 1 murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who worked as a barista in Anchorage at the time of her death. Her body was never found.

Keyes is also a suspect in a double homicide in Vermont from 2011 and could be under the microscope for another 2011 murder from New Hampshire.

The information was brought to light by a link posted on the Telegram’s Facebook page to the group “Have You Ever Met Israel Keyes? Possible Serial Killer.” The page administrators include family members of at least one of Keyes’ alleged victims and concerned citizens from Alaska. They say they have done extensive research on Keyes, and continue to do so, and share their findings with the FBI.

“We’re trying to get a timeline together ... and match his whereabouts up with other missing persons,” said a male administrator of the page who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

The Facebook group believes Keyes may be responsible for a slew of killings nationwide, possibly going back to 1996.

According to Franklin County real property records, Keyes has been paying taxes on the 10-acre parcel at 511 Poplar St., Constable since Oct. 23, 1997. The address listed for Keyes in the real property records is the same as is listed in a Yahoo! Local entry for his Anchorage contracting business, Keyes Construction. The business is named in numerous recent Alaskan media reports talking about the Koenig murder.

Willard and Bonnie Patnode, who live just down the road from the Keyes house in Constable, said they recall an Amish family with a couple of children living there for a very brief stint in the summer of either 2008 or 2009. They could not recall the exact time frame.

“They weren’t there a month and they moved right on,” Mr. Patnode said.

He added that they would wave at the family as they passed in their horse and buggy, but had no other contact with them.

When shown Keyes’ picture, both Patnodes said they did not recognize him.

A female administrator of the Facebook group speaking on condition of anonymity said Keyes was raised in an Amish family and was one of nine siblings.

Keyes would have been about 19 years old when he acquired the land in Constable. The actual deed is listed as belonging to a different Israel Keyes, this one from Colville, Wash., and 10 years older than the accused murderer from Anchorage. The lawyer who oversaw the transaction was Thomas LaRocque of Malone. He could not be reached for comment.

The female Facebook group administrator said her research shows that Keyes lived in Colville, Wash. in 1996. She believes that is where and when he killed his first victim. She said that in early March of 1996, 12-year-old Julie Harris disappeared from Colville. She said Ms. Harris had prosthetic feet, which were found in a river days later. Her body was found in a wooded area a year after that. No charges were ever filed.

The female admininstrator said she believes that Keyes could have used the other Israel Keyes’ identity. She said she has been in contact with an individual who claims to have records showing Keyes reporting a false age some years ago, but has not yet received them. She said she dug up evidence of him using aliases Izreal or Isreal Reyes, or shortening his name to Izzy.

Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne said he had never heard of Keyes and does not believe there are unsolved murders in the county to which Keyes could be linked.

“Our office has had no contact with him and neither has state police,” Mr. Champagne said Thursday.

Neighboring counties’ top prosecutors could not be reached for comment.

Although Keyes has only been charged with the Koenig murder, Burlington, Vt.-based WCAX reported on July 23 that Keyes is the prime suspect in the 2011 double murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier. They additionally reported that Keyes was staying in Essex, Vt., the town where the Curriers lived and were slain.

The Union Leader, a newspaper out of Manchester, N.H., reported on July 28 that the FBI and state authorities in Alaska were sharing information about Keyes with New Hampshire prosecutors, possibly in connection with the July 25, 2011 slaying of 11-year-old Celina Cass of Stewartstown, N.H., which took place a month after the Currier murders.

“State Police are aware of Mr. Keyes and they are being provided information through the FBI. Everybody is looked at in these cases,” New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young told the Union Leader last week.

In the Anchorage murder, an April 17 federal indictment alleges that Keyes kidnapped and killed Ms. Koenig, stole her debit card, and extorted ransom money from her family. The indictment says he left Anchorage for Texas, returned to Alaska, then fled back to Texas where he was apprehended. Authorities tracked him down by watching where he withdrew money from Ms. Koenig’s bank account.

The “Have You Ever Met Israel Keyes? Possible Serial Killer” Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/Have-You-Ever-met-Israel-Keyes-Possible-Serial-Killer/399521663428225.

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