Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew says the department's investigation into the kidnapping and killing of barista Samantha Koenig cost more than $400,000, dozens of times more than a typical homicide case.
In response to a Channel 2 request, Mew says APD's costs on the case include $415,186 in overtime, with an additional $300,000 loss in ticket revenue because the traffic unit also worked on the case.
According to Mew, a homicide case will usually mean about $8,000 to $10,000 in overtime. He says Koenig’s case was more expensive because police believed she was alive.
“We thought it was a homicide that could occur if we didn’t act quickly and work the case hard,” Mew said.
Koenig was working as a barista at Midtown coffee stand Common Grounds Espresso when she was abducted on Feb. 1. For months friends and family put up posters offering rewards for information on the missing 18-year-old's whereabouts, but her body was found in Matanuska Lake off the Glenn Highway in April.
Israel Keyes, a 34-year-old self-employed carpenter who lived in Anchorage, was later charged in Koenig's death. According to court records Keyes used a debit card reportedly stolen hours after Koenig vanished. Keyes was caught in Texas on March 13 with the stolen card and a roll of cash.
Mew says homicides usually require fewer overtime because detectives can work the cases during their normal hours. He says if APD needs additional money due to the costs of working the Koenig case, the department can request it from the Anchorage Assembly or Mayor Dan Sullivan.
“We can’t stop a life-or-death situation because of money,” Mew said.
Contact Rebecca Palsha