Samantha Koenig Case: A Sad Development

I usually reserve Monday for my posts on missing persons, but a police blogger friend made me aware of a sad development to the Samantha Koenig case in Alaska that I had previously discussed.


If you recall, Ms. Koenig was working alone at a coffee shop in Anchorage when she was abducted. The business' video camera captured the incident:

Authorities are weighing whether to charge an Alaska man, now in federal custody, in connection with the kidnapping and death of Anchorage barista Samantha Koenig. Her body is believed to have been recovered Monday from a local lake.


Tests are still being conducted on the remains found by a team of divers in Matanuska Lake north of Anchorage, but authorities are confident the body is that of Koenig, police spokesman Lt. David Parker said by telephone Tuesday. 


The family has been notified, he said.“Investigators believe Samantha died within hours of her abduction,” Chief Mark Mew told reporters at a news conference Monday night. 


“Investigators further believe the person responsible for Samantha's death acted alone, and we are confident that we have that person in custody.”


The suspect in Koenig’s death is Israel Keyes, 34, who entered a not-guilty plea when he was arraigned March 27 on federal fraud charges. Keyes, who was returned to Alaska from Texas -- where he was arrested -- is charged with access-device fraud for allegedly making cash withdrawals with a stolen credit card...


Several years ago, I remember that leaders of the convenience store industry, weary of being the targets of violent crime, initiated safety improvements to improve employee safety and better protect assets.

One change was that many stores began requiring at least two employees to be staffed on all shifts.

The idea being that the solitary clerk was considered an appealing crime target.

Perhaps the tragedy involved in Ms. Koenig's abduction and likely death will result in similar safety upgrades for those trying to earn a living performing that job.

My condolences to the woman's family.

29 comments:

Em-Musing said...

A sad, sad story. I can't imagine the agony her family is going through.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Common sense is often overlooked in favor of profits until someone loses his or her life.

It is sad when case after case after ... of woman, generally young women, working alone in a convenience store are abducted and murdered.

However, owners say, "That won't happen in our sleepy town" or "I have video, no one dare" and yet here we are, faced with another young life stolen by some evil creep.

Miranda Hardy said...

I read about the body recovery yesterday. It is sad. She was so young.

Pat Hatt said...

A very sad outcome. Hopefully they take a long look at their business practices after it, as lone cashiers are sitting ducks no matter the place.

Clarissa Draper said...

That is a sad development. I hope she gets justice. And I hope they improve the safety in the stores.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Ugh. Reminds me a lot of Drew Sjodin, which was a case close to home. I can't imagine being a convenience clerk working alone.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I hate Satan, and his evil deeds. Looking forward to Jesus making all things right again.

So sorry for this lovely ladies' family.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

So sad. I hope there are more safety upgrades too.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

What a sad outcome to this story. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Lydia Kang said...

How sad. We live in such a dangerous world. :(

messymimi said...

Some places around here that have only one clerk on duty at night conduct all business through a specially designed window that has bullet resistant glass. It's never open to both the inside and outside at the same time, and the clerks do not open the doors for anyone who isn't another employee.

It could prevent more tragedies like this if all businesses did it this way.

Carol Kilgore said...

I sorry to learn this. My heart goes out to her family.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I hope they'll implement the safety upgrades. There were two similar crimes about twenty years ago in I.F., Idaho. From what I've heard, both gas station attendants were alone before being murdered.

So sad.

Ciara said...

Such a tragedy. I hope he never sees the light of day again.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

oh man.
prayers with her family.

BobKat said...

Very sad. But what I find frustrating is lack of motive in these cases. It seems the majority of are hooked on hate, anger, sociopathic obsessions. I find few are alcoholics in an alcoholic rage, nor "drug abusers", but rather, "straight people" who simply don't value human life.

There is a share of perpetrators of who prepare themselves on substances, but it seems the majority are addicted to self-isolation, never seek mental health resouces to help them cope with their self-fueled obsessions.

As a society we are indoctrinated with types like Charles Manson, bogeyman extrodinair, who was indeed acting upon drug infused evil thoughts and behaviors. But the truth is, Manson is/was an anomaly.

While we spend precious resources targeting illicit drug use, the victims seem to be growing... meanwhile, access to mental health interventions are dwindling, and prejudice towards those who seek treatment are broadening and worsening.

Why are we as a modern day society blind to the reality of the cause(s) of violence? And why do I feel alone in my understanding of these causes? I think, because no matter what the cause, we prefer less of the truth, and more of what we are conditioned to believe is the cause.

I'd rather hear out-right disagreement with my beliefs, than silence. Why? Because silence is akin to apathy, and disagreement means questioning what we're taught to believe is reality.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

The law was changed a few years ago in Alberta so that at least two people had to work the night shift. This came after a young woman was murdered while working alone at a gas bar.

Brian Miller said...

ugh i would hope...never a good thing to be working alone...way too much can happen....

Jax said...

This is so sad!! I'll be sending good vibes to the family. It's so scary to think how many people go missing and there is no clue as to what happened. Putting together pieces will never reveal the full truth. Very, very sad...

Stephanie said...

I cannot imagine the depth of their heartache. I hope this brings the family some sense of closure....

Beth Zimmerman said...

25+ years ago I worked nights (alone) in a convenience store. Today ... there is no way on earth I would let my kid do that. Partly because I know it wasn't really safe even 25 years ago!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

You make an excellent point. Two is safer than one. While this news is sad, I hope it provides some closure for the family.

Maxi said...

I also remember when convenience stores began to keep two employees on duty.

How sad it has not been enforced everywhere.

Blessings - Maxi

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Always sad to see a turn of events like THIS occur.
Odd how tragedy leads to change...we shouldn't have to wait THAT long.

Good post and great comments.

Stay safe out there.

ladyfi said...

Very sad.

JoDee Luna said...

This is a heart-breaking case, but I'm glad you brought attention to an important topic. Who would think something so horrible would happen in Alaska? I guess crime exists where ever deviant people are.

carma said...

such a sad development. I agree that 2 people should be on duty at all times but I suppose most businesses are too cheap to pay for 2 people. I worked for years in a place by myself 7 hours a day; a friend of mine questioned the safety. Over the years there was only 2 times that creepy people came in - luckily nothing happened. Don't think I'd ever work in that type of situation again.

Mommy Lisa said...

I was kind of appalled Easter Sunday when I went to our local CVS and it appeared a young girl, maybe 18? was working alone. Perhaps a manager was there, but the store is so huge someone else should have been 'visible'.

Holly Lefevre said...

So, so sad. Near where I live we are all anxiously awaiting what happens with Sierra LaMar - a 15 year old who went missing weeks ago now. I sadly think I know what the outcome will be...we need you on the case here. I heard that within the last few months there have been 4 attempted abduction of young girls within a hours drive. Scary stuff for sure.