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Case Involving an Alaska Serial Killer Has Ties to East Texas

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

It’s a story that has made national news. Earlier this week, accused serial killer Israel Keyes was found dead in his jail cell in Alaska after an apparent suicide.

He’s accused of abducting, assualting, killing, and dismembering the body of an 18-year old barista who was kidnapped from a coffee stand last February.

In March, Keyes was arrested at the parking lot of a Cotton Patch Cafe in Lufkin after trying to use Samantha Koenig’s stolen debit card.

The FBI released new details Tuesday in the case. After Koenig was killed, Keyes went on a cruise, and when he returned he took a picture of the body and sent it to Koenig’s family and asked for ransom. Then, authorities say Keyes dismembered the body and left it in a frozen lake north of Anchorage, AK. After his arrest, Keyes confessed to killing seven other people. He was awaiting a March trial when he committed suicide.

Officers from several agencies swarmed to the Lufkin Cotton Patch Cafe in March after being alerted the Keyes had tried to use Koenig’s stolen debit card there. He also used the card in other states, including Arizona and New Mexico.

The killings spanned a decade.

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