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Serial killer linked to missing New Jersey woman


FBI agents across the country are working to link Israel Keyes, the serial killer who owned a house and property in Constable, to open cases since his apparent suicide last December.

The case re-entered the public eye this week as investigators may have connected Keyes to a New Jersey missing person case from 2009. Before his death, Keyes admitted to investigators that he abducted a female victim on April 9, 2009, from “a state on the East Coast” and transported her over multiple state lines into New York.

“Keyes murdered the victim and buried her in upstate New York near the Tupper Lake area. Investigators do not believe this victim is buried on the property Keyes owns in Constable, New York,” FBI Newark Special Agent Barbara Woodruff said in a statement.

Debra Fel-dman, 49, was last seen at her home in Hackensack, N.J., on April 8, 2009. According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, none of her bank accounts have since been used. Her body was never recovered.

Keyes’s 10-acre property on Poplar Street in Constable was the subject of an intense two-day search in October 2012 that apparently didn’t turn up anything. FBI media representative Paul Holstein said at the time that the agency had no comment on whether agents were even there.

The property, purchased by Keyes’s father in 1997 for $15,000 in his son’s name, has been abandoned for some time, although Johnson Newspapers previously reported that a Bonita Patnode of Constable recalled an Amish family living in the house during the summer of 2008 or 2009. She said they stayed a couple of months, but she never knew them; then they left.

Keyes was arrested in March 2012 in Texas, then extradited to Alaska and subsequently charged with the Feb. 1, 2012, murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who worked as a barista in Anchorage. An April 17 federal indictment alleges that he kidnapped and killed Miss Koenig, stole her debit card and extorted ransom money from her family.

Keyes was never formally convicted of the crime, which was dismissed by U.S. District Court in Alaska on Nov. 1, presumably because of his death in prison last December.

During his incarceration, Keyes gradually began confessing that he had killed others, including Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt., in 2011. He told investigators he chose the Curriers’ home because it had an attached garage, no evidence of children or a dog, and the style of the house clued him in to the probable location of the master bedroom.

Authorities described Keyes as methodical, in the Currier case taking days to find the perfect victim. He also was thorough in disposing of victims’ bodies. Only Koenig’s body has been recovered.

Keyes also admitted to an April 13, 2009, robbery of the Community Bank on Holsey Avenue in Tupper Lake. According to an August FBI press release, after the bank robbery, Keyes said he parked in a nearby campground for several hours to wait for the emergency response vehicles to pass.

Before the murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier in Vermont, Keyes told investigators his victims’ disappearances received little if any media coverage. Investigators believe he is responsible for 11 homicides across the country, which he traveled extensively as a general contractor. He also admitted to burglarizing 20 to 30 homes through the U.S. and talked about committing arson as a means to cover up a homicide.

FBI news releases describe Keyes’s suicide as a surprise to investigators and members of the Anchorage Police Department because he had been “apparently enjoying the cat-and-mouse game with investigators who were trying to get information about his other victims.”

They also report that while living in New York, Keyes may have crossed into Canada on multiple occasions. They are aware only of a March 2007 trip through Canada to Alaska.

The FBI is asking anyone who may have known Ms. Feldman or who may have information related to Keyes to call the agency at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

His DNA and fingerprints are on file.

Keyes indicated to authorities that his victims are male and female and range in age from late teens to the elderly. The timeline of his crimes reaches from 1997 to 2012.

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