By Diana Hefley
A suspected serial killer admitted to murdering four people in Washington before he committed suicide Sunday in an Alaskan jail.
FBI agents here have opened an investigation into Israel Keyes and his time in Washington. They also have shared information with local law enforcement agencies, including Snohomish County detectives, asking them to scour their unsolved murders for any possible connections to Keyes.
Keyes reportedly admitted that he killed two people in Washington sometime during 2005 and 2006 and murdered a couple between 2001 and 2005. It isn’t known if the victims were residents of Washington or if they were vacationing here, according to press release from the FBI. It also is possible that Keyes abducted them from a nearby state.
Investigators don’t believe Keyes knew any of his victims before kidnapping them. Instead, he told investigators that he looked for victims in remote locations, such as parks, campgrounds and trailheads.
Here in Snohomish County, detectives were alerted to Keyes’ confessions.
At this point, there’s no indication that Keyes is good for any unsolved killings here, including the 2006 slayings of a Seattle mother and daughter on Mount Pilchuck.
“We are aware of the information as is all of law enforcement around the state. At this time, there isn’t any information that detectives can act on or will be acting on,” Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
Mary Cooper, 56, and Susanna Stodden, 27, were fatally shot and left deep in the woods along a hiking trail to Pinnacle Lake on Mount Pilchuck. That happened on July 11, 2006. Detectives continue to search for whoever killed the pair.
Authorities said Keyes traveled extensively. He would drive hundreds of miles for victims. Keyes flew from Alaska to Chicago and then drove to Vermont. That’s where he killed abducted and killed a couple. Keyes said he used the proceeds from several bank robberies to pay for his travels, along with the money he made as a general contractor.
He also reported that prior to the 2011 murders in Vermont, there was very little media coverage about the victims of his crimes. Keyes was being held in an Alaskan jail for killing a teenage barista and dumping her body in a lake.
Keyes’ DNA has been added to the FBI database for law enforcement to check against evidence in their unsolved killings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.