Koenig Case Arrestee's Former Neighbor Thinks "Anyone is Capable of Anything"
Paints rosy picture of Israel Keyes' life
ANCHORAGE - "They would have friends over, but it never got noisy."
On a quiet dead end street in Anchorage's South Addition neighborhood a woman methodically shovels and sweeps the few inches from her walk that came down in Wednesday's snow. She doesn't want to be identified because it's just too soon and she's reserving judgement, but she's stunned about this week's development in the Samantha Koenig kidnapping case. Texas Rangers arrested her former neighbor from across the street, Israel Keyes, in Lufkin on Tuesday, for access device fraud. But officials think he's connected with Koenig's disapperance.
"I recognized him right away," she said upon seeing Keyes' picture yesterday on the internet.
Her mother actually drew her attention to the arrest when she heard Keyes' name on the news. The woman shoveling snow then went online and did her own research. What she learned surprised her. His face is familiar. What authorities suspect him of doing is not.
"I don't understand," she said. "I'm holding my suspicisions in advance because there's so much crap going on." She talked of what she read in the comments sections of the news websites. To her, it doesn't make sense. She knows a different side of the man who would work on his projects in the front yard. "He wasn't overly friendly. But you'd wave to him and say 'hi' and he'd wave back. He never raised his voice at the two or three kids who would come over and visit."
Admittedly she didn't know him that well. She didn't even remember the name of the woman who he lived with. But she did recall when they moved out. They left the neighborhood two or three years ago to move into a house over in Turnagain that the woman bought. About a month later she says Keyes came back to the South Addition rental to fix it up for his former landlord. She thought that Keyes had built a new fence, done some painting and put in a new floor. These are all tasks that would come very easily for a professional carpenter. The neighbor says Keyes began his company, Keyes Construction, while living in the house across the street.
"He did beautiful work," she said.
The woman with the shovel paints a rosy picture of the folks who live around her. They're friendly neighbors who look out for one another. There's no drug traffic and no police. Except for some homeless activity, it's quiet. Keyes seemed to fit right in, but when asked if she thought he could be capable of kidnapping Samantha Koenig - she paused - and then chose her words carefully.
"Anybody is capable of anything."