The suicide of a serial killer has brought a long awaited end to the mysterious deaths of Bill and Lorraine Currier, the Essex couple who vanish from their home in the summer of 2011.
"Federal inmate Israel Keyes was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent suicide," said Karen Loeffler, the U.S. Attorney for Alaska.
The 34 year-old Keyes was the prime suspect in the Currier case. He was awaiting trial in Alaska for the murder of an Anchorage teenager, 18-year-old Samantha Koenig. Months before Keyes took his own life, authorities say he confessed to killing Koenig. And it was at that point the investigative team became convinced he had killed before.
"A plan was developed by the team to question Keyes directly about his other crimes and in a short period of time the team obtained Keyes' confession to the kidnapping and murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier," Loeffler said.
Despite extensive searches -- both in Essex and a Coventry landfill -- the couple's remains have not been recovered. But authorities say they have enough evidence to corroborate Keyes confession. "Through continued contact with Keyes and further intensive and detailed work the investigative team has been working diligently to try and solve any other murders and crimes committed by Keyes," Loeffler said.
They now believe in addition to Koenig and the Curriers, Keyes has 4 other victims in Washington State and one in New York State. "To date we have not been able to recover any bodies and we've not substantially identified the victims. We believe there are other victims in other states. we are continuing our efforts," said the FBI's Mary Rook.
Investigators say they are now analyzing Keyes financial and travel records to identify other potential victims. They say his killing spree spanned at least a decade, he acted alone and his victims were typically strangers. He went on to tell authorities he chose his targets based on the circumstances, not the characteristics of the victims themselves. Investigators say they are not willing to put a number on how many people he may have killed. "We do know that he traveled extensively and he didn't always stay where he landed. He would land in one airport rent a car and drive hundreds of miles," Rook said.
In the Currier case, the hotel where Keyes was staying was only a short distance from the couple's home. Police said Keyes was "very sensitive about his reputation" and it was critical to keep much of their work secret to keep him talking.
In light of his death, authorities are now expected to release many of the details about the Currier case. But we may never know why he chose them.
WCAX-TV and WCAX.COM will carry a live press conference with law enforcement officials in Burlington at 1:30 p.m. and have updates at 5 and 6.
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