Local News

Former Colville resident, linked to 7 killings, commits suicide in jail

ANCHORAGE, AK - A man charged in the death of an Alaska barista has killed himself, and authorities said he was linked to at least seven other possible slayings in three other states.

Israel Keyes was found dead in his Anchorage jail cell Sunday morning. Officials said it was a suicide.

Keyes, who lived in Colville in the late 1990s, was facing a March trial in federal court for the murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from an Anchorage coffee kiosk last February. He was later arrested in Texas after using the victim's debit card.

Authorities said Keyes confessed to killing Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt. The couple was reported missing in June 2011. Officials said at a news conference in Vermont on Monday afternoon that Keyes provided details about the abduction of Bill and Lorraine Currier that authorities had not released to the public.

Officials say he broke into the Currier's home, tied them up and forced them into their car. He then drove them to an abandoned house in Essex. Authorities say both the Curriers tried to escape. Keyes then shot Bill Currier with a gun he had stolen from the couple's home and sexually assaulted and strangled Lorraine Currier.

Their bodies have never been found.

Authorities said Keyes also indicated he killed four others in Washington state and one person in New York state, but did not give the victims' names.

The Stevens County undersheriff said Monday that Keyes is not a person of interest in a cold case murders that occurred while he was living in Colville. While he was living there, three people -- two 12-year-olds and the mother of one of the children -- were murdered while he was living in the area. Keyes is not a person of interest in any of those three killings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report