By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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Sample was 52 when he was last seen March 6, 2005, buying fuel at a gas station in Centralia, a few miles from his home in the Lewis County town of Onalaska.
Vehicle found later
Sample's pickup truck later was found locked and abandoned on South Shore Road near Lake Quinault in Jefferson County.
His vehicle was discovered about a quarter-mile from Fletcher Canyon Trailhead, which leads to Olympic National Forest.
A bicycle enthusiast, he may have had in his possession a recently purchased red Mt. Fury Roadmaster mountain bike.
“FBI investigators find that it is highly unlikely that Keyes is connected to the unsolved disappearance of Delmar Sample,” FBI spokeswoman Ayn Sandalo Dietrich said last week in an email.
“The Seattle Field Office is working with local, state, and tribal law enforcement partners to review unsolved homicides and missing persons cases in Washington state for possible connections to Keyes.”
Lewis County Sheriff's Office Detective Dan Riordan, who has investigated Sample's disappearance, said Friday this is the second time authorities have looked into possible connections between Sample's disappearance and Keyes.
'End tied up'
“It was cleared, initially,” Riordan said. “The Seattle [FBI] office wanted to make sure they ran everything down,” he said.
“They believe they've got this end tied up. They're saying he couldn't have done it.
“Nothing is ever 100 percent, but we definitely believe it's close to 99.9 percent.”
According to authorities, Sample had planned to travel to Tillamook, though family members said he often changed his travel plans.
A Walmart pharmacist in Chehalis, Sample was reported missing by co-workers after he uncharacteristically did not show up for work or notify supervisors.
Family members said he was not depressed at the time and that it was unusual for him to leave and not tell anyone.
Keyes committed suicide in an Anchorage jail in 2012 while awaiting trial in the rape and murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, a barista abducted from an Anchorage coffee stand.
He was linked to 11 killings between 2001 and 2012, including five while living in Neah Bay.
Keyes had told investigators in Alaska that he killed four people in Washington, including a couple in the state, between 2001 and 2005.
None of Keyes' victims appears to have lived in Clallam or Jefferson counties, Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin and Jefferson County Sheriff's Detective Brett Anglin have said.
“Dark Minds,” a cable TV show that aired last Wednesday, said it was possible Keyes murdered Gilbert Gilman, 47, of Olympia, who went missing June 24, 2006, after last being seen at the Staircase Rapids trailhead in Olympic National Park near Hoodsport.
The FBI has discounted any connection between Keyes and Gilman.
A hiker who traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Keyes is believed to have methodically killed his victims.
Authorities have never connected Keyes with anyone who lived in or went missing in Clallam or Jefferson counties.
He moved in 2007 from Neah Bay to Anchorage, where he committed suicide in 2012 at age 34 while in custody after admitting to the murder of an 18-year-old barista.
The FBI in August issued a public plea for tips on potential victims of Keyes.
The FBI tip line is 800-225-5324.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at email@example.com.