Department of Corrections Says Keyes Showed No Signs of Being Suicidal
ANCHORAGE - On Sunday morning, serial killer Israel Keyes was found dead at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.
Investigators with the state troopers were notified of Keyes' death around 6:30 a.m.
The state medical examiner hasn’t released Keyes’ autopsy results and state trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen said even when troopers can confirm how Keyes died, the information might not be released to the public.
Keyes was confined to his cell 23 hours a day in a segregation unit that housed around 23 prisoners.
"Security typically for segregation is a 24 hour post, which means there is an officer present 24 hours a day,” said Bryan Brandenburg, Director of Institutions with the Department of Corrections.
That one officer on duty is supposed to check on each prisoner every 30 minutes. Whether this was the case on Sunday morning when Keyes died is being investigated.
"We just look at the policies and the procedures to make sure that everything was followed appropriately,” Brandenburg said.
Friends and family of Samantha Koenig, one of Keyes' victims, say justice hasn't been served.
"We are not satisfied. We were so hoping for our day in court where Israel Keyes would have to stand before all of us and take his punishment,” said Heather Cartwright, a friend of Samantha Koenig.
Samantha Koenig’s dad James Koenig said the D.O.C dropped the ball.
"D.O.C. should be ashamed, and held accountable for allowing this to happen,” said Koenig in a Facebook post.
"How and why he would have access to anything to commit suicide in a segregated cell on 24 hour watch is beyond me.”
D.O.C. said it wasn't aware Keyes was suicidal.
“We do what we can when we are aware of situations, to do whatever preventative measures are available to us,” said Brandenburg.
The last time investigators spoke to Keyes about his murders was on Thursday last week.
Federal prosecutions had until the end of the year to decide if they were going to seek the death penalty, but yesterday the U.S. Attorney’s office said they had not confirmed their decision.
The D.O.C. says Keyes had access to pen and paper, but neither the troopers nor D.O.C. will confirm or deny if Keyes left a suicide note.