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Man linked to Alaska kidnap in court

March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 28 (UPI) -- A man named as a person of interest in the disappearance of a young Alaska woman was being held without bail on charges of theft, authorities said.

Israel Keyes, 34, appeared in federal court in Anchorage and entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Federal prosecutors allege Keyes stole an ATM card shortly after Samantha Koenig, 18, was abducted Feb. 1 and used it to withdraw $2,400 from the owner's account.

Koenig's alleged abduction was not mentioned during the brief hearing. Investigators have not said why they believe Keyes was involved.

Surveillance footage appears to show an armed man forcing Koenig from the coffee hut where she worked in Anchorage.

Keyes was arrested in Texas March 13 after allegedly using the stolen ATM card in Alaska and in other states. He still had the card on him, police said.

His white pickup truck was seized after his arrest.

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