Family of confessed serial killer holds Deer Park funeral

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by Associated Press & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 9, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 9 at 6:21 PM

DEER PARK, Wash. -- The family of confessed serial killer Israel Keyes remembered him at a private funeral service in Deer Park.

The Keyes family pastor, Jake Gardner, spoke on behalf of the family. He said no matter how much Keyes’ Christian family cried and prayed for Israel -- in the end, they could not change him.

“We have prayed for him for hours and hours and hours. We've wept tears over this man, in secret places where he knew not. We were weeping for him. We pled with him for hours. It's like losing a child," Gardner said.

Keyes confessed to killing eight people across the country before he committed suicide recently in a jail cell in Anchorage, Alaska.

The 34-year-old slit his wrist and strangled himself with bedding and was found dead last Sunday. He was facing federal murder charges in the kidnapping and death of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from an Anchorage coffee stand on Feb. 1.

Gardner said Israel’s sister recently tried again to convert him.

Most of Israel’s nine siblings did not attend his funeral.

Keyes was originally from Colville. Gardner said he will be buried at an undisclosed location in Washington.

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