February 5, 2012

Father of abducted barista,18, pleads for her return

Surrounded by friends, family and supporters, James Koenig has pleaded for the safe return of his 18-year-old daughter Samantha, who police in Alaska say was abducted from the coffee bar where she worked.

Surveillance video shows Samantha taken from Common Grounds Espresso in Anchorage by an armed man on Wednesday. Her father is using the scene of the crime as a meeting place for those who want to help. He says Samantha is a sweet girl, describes her as "everybody's best friend" and says he knew something was wrong when she didn't come home from work on Wednesday.

"I want to ask for her captors that they will please send my daughter home, I will give you anything in this world. Call me anonymously, you don't have to go through the police, I will meet you, I will give you whatever you want," says Koenig.

Samantha's boyfriend Dwayne says he spoke with her just minutes before she was abducted and says "everything was fine." He was supposed to give her a ride home from work.

"I had the only means of transportation for her and I got off work and went to go get her, and she wasn't there. It was a mess," says Dwayne.

There are no new details in the investigation since Friday, when APD called it an abduction. Samantha's family is offering more than $12,500 as a reward for her return and is hoping to sell green ribbons, Samantha's favorite color, to raise the reward money.

"Every day she's gone the odds are against us -- and I need the whole community to find my daughter, go door-to-door, every neighborhood. Anything suspicious, no matter how small you think it is, call the police," Koenig said. "Just please help find my daughter."

Anyone with information on the abduction is asked to call APD at 786-8900. Supporters created a Facebook page where people can download fliers and offer support. The family is accepting donations for the reward. An account is set up at Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union.

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