Police Ask Locals Not to Interfere in Search for Barista
APD says civilians could endanger official search
ANCHORAGE - One week into the search for Samantha Koenig, the FBI has joined the investigation. The 18-year-old barista disappeared from a Midtown coffee shop last week.
Anchorage police say surveillance footage shows Koenig was kidnapped.
Police say with a $41,000 reward on the table, they’ve received a lot of calls from people who claim to have information about Koenig’s kidnapping.
Some are credible, others, not so much.
On week after Koenig was kidnapped from Common Grounds Espresso in Midtown, her family still waits for answers. Family and friends are camped out in a motorhome in the Alaska Club parking lot, and while no one wanted to go on camera, friends say they’re still optimistic Samantha will be found.
Officers say they’ve taken a lot of calls in the past week, even from psychics claiming to have information.
“We can't accept stuff that comes from psychics,” said Lieutenant Dave Parker of APD. “We've never had a psychic lead in the history of the Anchorage Police Department that turned out to be a lead, a true lead that assisted us in solving a case.”
John Bacon, a man who helped search for Koenig on Monday and said he was a private investigator and bounty hunter, now says he’s off the case.
After researching his past, KTVA has learned Bacon is a two-time convicted sex offender and was once publicly outed by a Florida television station for impersonating a psychologist.
Bacon told KTVA Wednesday he is heading to Virginia, and has passed off the case to another PI, but KTVA was unable to confirm that information, or for whom in Alaska Bacon was supposed to be working.
Officers say detectives are looking at every credible lead, hoping one will bring Samantha home. Police called in the FBI to help with the investigation as well.
“They assist with specialized equipment and training, also they have a lot of experience dealing with kidnapping,” Lieutenant Parker said. “We have a lot of local knowledge and you put those two together and our investigators are quite good at what they do as well, so my money is on the cops.”
Police say it’s okay for people to pass out flyers and organize search parties, like Monday’s ground search, but they say it’s best to leave the detective work to the professionals.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Samantha Koenig at Town Square downtown Saturday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Mayor Dan Sullivan also issued a statement today sending his thoughts and prayers to the family, and says all the resources available to the city are being used in this ongoing investigation.
Again, if you have any information about Koenig’s disappearance, call Anchorage Police at 786-8900.