Missing Anchorage Barista: Man Arrested in Texas

A man has been arrested in connected to 18-year-old's disappearance.

March 16, 2012, 2:15 AM

March 16, 2012— -- A man has been arrested in Texas in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old barista Samantha Koenig, who was abducted by an armed man from an espresso stand in Anchorage, Alaska, over six weeks ago.

Israel Keyes, 34, who owns a construction company in Anchorage, was arrested in Lufkin, Texas. Koenig remains missing.

"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 told the Anchorage Daily News.

Koenig was last seen the evening of Wednesday, February 1 on surveillance video that showed her leaving the Common Grounds Espresso stand in Anchorage with an armed man, who police said was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and possibly a baseball cap. All of the coffee stand's cash was also missing.

Keyes' arrest warrant remains sealed and police are offering few details. Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said that the warrant will remain sealed so as not to compromise the case.

According to documents, Keyes was charged in an East Texas courthouse with access device fraud. The charge is often associated with the illegal use of another person's credit or debit card to steal money, but Shell could not comment on whether Keyes had been using Koenig's card.

Investigators are now seeking to speak to anyone who has had contact with Keyes or his construction company, Keyes Construction.

According to the website for Keyes Construction, Keyes worked in Washington state in the mid-1990s then served three years in the Army Infantry, stationed in Ft. Lewis, Ft Hood, and Sianai, Egypt. According to the site he then worked from 2001-2007 for the Makah Tribal Council in Neah Bay, Wash. before moving to Alaska.

Koening 'Too Afraid' to Follow Through With Protective Order

According to Samantha Koening 's father James Koenig the teen filed a protective order against a man in November but was too scared to follow it through.

"She filed for a restraining order against a person she barely knew and was too afraid to go through with it in court," James Koenig told ABCNews.com last month.

He said he could not elaborate on the situation or the man's identity, but he did not believe that his daughter felt that she was in danger or that someone wanted to hurt her before she disappeared.

When asked if he had any theories about what may have happened to her daughter, he said, "I do, but I cannot divulge."

In November, Samantha Koenig filed the protective order, but she did not show up for a hearing and the order was never issued.

The Anchorage Police Department received criticism for not releasing the surveillance tape, but police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said they won't do it because, "There's no way this video is going to further the investigation."

Parker said the tape has "evidentiary qualities" that make it valuable to investigators but that it would not be useful to release it because the alleged kidnapper's face is not visible. He said the key to the video for investigators is Koenig's response to the perpetrator.

Samantha Koenig had been working at the Common Grounds Espresso stand for about a month and her father said she was really enjoying it.

"She's a sweetheart. She's got the biggest heart and she has genuine love and care for people. She befriends people so easily," Koenig said through tears. "Everyone that meets her, they call her their best friend. That's just her personality. She's funny and she loves life."

Koenig is the fourth of six children. She has three sisters and two brothers who James Koenig said are working hard to search for Samantha.

Koenig is 5-foot-5 and weighs about 140 pounds. She has brown hair and eyes. Authorities are asking that anyone with information contact the Anchorage Police Department at 907-786-8900.