Israel Keyes, an accused serial killer, was found dead in his jail cell early Sunday morning. Keyes was awaiting trial for the kidnapping and killing of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, but was suspected of killing at least seven others throughout the United States.
"He did tell us that he had killed other people and that there were bodies of up to four other people in Washington state, as well as a body disposed of in New York state," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis said after the press conference on Sunday.
He had already admitted to killing Koenig, as well as Bill and Lorraine Currier of Vermont, in June 2011. Keyes did not name any more victims, though, leaving prosecutors frustrated and on the search for those victims. He also admitted to committing two bank robberies, which means there could be even more victims.
Keyes was found dead in the cell that he was kept in, and foul play is not suspected. Authorities would not release any other details of Keyes' death, though. He was supposed to stand trial in March on federal charges of kidnapping and murder and could have faced the death penalty.
It was Koenig's kidnapping that grabbed national attention after she disappeared from a coffee stand in February of this year. She was later found in an ice-covered lake, and Keyes was arrested after using a debit card linked to Koenig's account. He told authorities that he had taken the young girl and killed her, then used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice to dispose of her body.
Police are now starting a search for his other victims, which could take some time given the amount of travel Keyes did during his life. He lived in Washington state, moved to Alaska, was a frequent visitor of Texas, and owned property in New York. According to authorities, Keyes' crimes could go back as far as 14 years, adding even more work for all those involved.