Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student, is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption
Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student, is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November.
Idaho authorities have released the most comprehensive evidence yet tying the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students to a suspect arrested last week and charged with murder in their killings.
Among the new information is the recovery of a DNA sample from a leather knife sheath found in one of the victims' beds that appears to be a strong match for Kohberger, as well as the revelation that a roommate of the victims had been awoken during the night and saw a strange masked man exit the house.
Idaho authorities have charged Bryan Kohberger with murder in the November stabbing deaths of the four students.
Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student at nearby Washington State University, has been charged with four counts of murder in the first degree, along with one count of felony burglary.
Early on the morning of Nov. 13, the four students — Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 — were stabbed to death in the Moscow, Idaho, home where three of them lived together with two other students. The fourth victim, Chapin, was dating Kernodle and spending the night.
What the roommate told police
The hours before the attack had been a normal Saturday night of partying for the four victims, witnesses and friends say. Chapin and Kernodle had attended a fraternity party; Mogen and Goncalves had gone to a bar and stopped by a food truck on the way home to their house on King Road. All four were home by 2 a.m., and most were asleep by 4 a.m.
Two other roommates were not attacked. In an affidavit released Thursday, Moscow police said that one roommate, identified in the document as "D.M.," was awoken at approximately 4 a.m. by sounds coming from upstairs — including what she thought was her roommate Goncalves saying, "there's someone here."
D.M. looked out her bedroom door but didn't see anything, after which she heard more noises, she told investigators: crying, a male voice saying, "it's ok, I'm going to help you," more voices, a loud thud, a dog barking.
She opened her door again and this time saw "a figure clad in black clothing and a mask" walking toward her, the affidavit says.
It was a male stranger, she said, describing him as at least 5 feet, 10 inches, "not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows."
As she "stood in a 'frozen shock phase,'" the man walked past her toward the house's rear sliding door, after which the roommate locked herself in her room, investigators said.
Police tracked car to and from the crime scene
Investigators also canvassed the area of the King Road house to collect video footage, which revealed a white sedan, later identified as a Hyundai Elantra, traveling toward the home around 3:30 a.m., making several passes by the house and then departing the area around 4:20 a.m. "at a high rate of speed."
Security footage from the campus of Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., where Kohberger is a graduate student, showed a similar white sedan headed in the direction of Moscow, about 15 miles away across the state line, shortly before 3 a.m. and then appearing to return around 5:30 a.m.
On Nov. 29, a police search of vehicles registered to WSU students revealed a 2015 white Hyundai Elantra registered to Bryan Kohberger, originally with Pennsylvania plates that were later registered in Washington.
Then, they tracked his cellphone
After identifying Kohberger as a possible suspect, police discovered that he had been subject to a traffic stop in August. At that time, he gave Moscow police his phone number.
In late December, investigators worked through cellphone records, attempting to uncover whether his phone had pinged cellphone towers near the crime scene or on routes to and from it.
An initial search showed that his phone did not, in fact, ping any cellphone towers near the crime scene on Nov. 13 between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.
But investigators noted that a lack of cellphone pings could be "an effort to avoid alerting law enforcement" of one's proximity to a crime scene, they said.
Expanding their search, authorities discovered that Kohberger's phone pinged cell towers in Pullman around 2:47 a.m., consistent with the phone departing Kohberger's residence "and traveling south through Pullman," the affidavit says.
That was the last ping for about two hours, investigators said.
Then at 4:48 a.m., the phone appeared on the network again, pinging along highways south of Moscow, then west across the border into Washington state and then back north toward Pullman — a timeline that aligns with security footage of the white Elantra, investigators noted.
The disappearance of the phone from the network for two hours was consistent with an effort "to conceal his location during the quadruple homicide," the affidavit says.
There is no evidence in the affidavit that Kohberger's phone had been in contact with any of the victims or people associated with them.
But his phone had pinged cellphone towers in the area of the King Road house at least 12 times before the homicides, investigators found, including as early as Aug. 21, the day before his classes as a graduate student were set to begin at Washington State. Most of those occasions were late at night or early in the morning, the affidavit says.
The phone also returned to the area of the crime scene around 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 13, about five hours after the stabbings, before they had been reported to police.
Kohberger on the move
In mid-December, after the semester at Washington State had come to an end, Kohberger drove the Elantra back to his family's home in Pennsylvania, along with his father, who had traveled to Washington so the two of them could make the long drive together.
Investigators noted evidence of the car's journey back to Pennsylvania: a license plate capture in Colorado, a traffic stop in Indiana.
This week, authorities in Indiana released video of a pair of traffic stops along Interstate 70 east of Indianapolis, where two different officers had pulled over the Kohbergers for tailgating on the morning of Dec. 15.
Body camera footage shows the younger Kohberger driving the car with his father in the passenger seat. Both times, after a brief and polite conversation, the officers let the Kohbergers go without a ticket.
A possible DNA match
With a volume of evidence — the roommate's description, the movements of the white Elantra and the cellphone data — appearing to point to Kohberger, authorities in Idaho enlisted the help of Pennsylvania police to collect a DNA sample to test against the one recovered from the button snap of a tan leather knife sheath found in a bed near one victim's body.
On Dec. 27, police in Pennsylvania recovered a sample from the trash outside the Kohberger family residence in Albrightsville.
The Idaho state crime lab determined that the sample found in the trash likely belongs to the biological father of the person who left DNA on the knife sheath, according to the affidavit.
"At least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded from the possibility of being the suspect's biological father," the affidavit says.
Three days later, Pennsylvania police arrested Kohberger. He was soon extradited to Idaho, where he is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
In an interview Tuesday, Kohberger's lawyer, Jason LaBar, the chief public defender of Monroe County, Pa., said the suspect "believes he's going to be exonerated."
Who is Bryan Kohlberger? ›
Kohlberger was arrested in December at his parent's Pennsylvania home following a six-week nationwide manhunt. Since he was apprehended, he has reportedly been a model inmate. And in a nod to God, he has turned the other cheek to harassment and name-calling at the hands of his fellow jailbirds.What is the information on the Moscow Idaho killings? ›
In the early hours of November 13, 2022, four University of Idaho students were fatally stabbed in their off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho. On December 30, 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on four counts of murder in the first degree and felony burglary.Who was the suspect in the roommates in Idaho killings? ›
One of the surviving roommates in a stabbing attack that left four University of Idaho students dead is being asked by suspect Bryan Kohberger's attorneys to testify in his upcoming preliminary hearing – a demand she is resisting, according to new court documents.What evidence was found against Kohberger? ›
An evidence log released Thursday shows knives, a cell phone, black gloves, black masks, laptops, and dark colored clothes and shoes were found at Bryan Kohberger's parent's Pennsylvania home where he was arrested.Who is the killer in the Idaho Daily Mail? ›
EXCLUSIVE: DailyMail.com retraces route cops claim Idaho murders suspect Bryan Kohberger took on the night four students were stabbed to death. DailyMail.com drove the route police claim Idaho murder suspect, Bryan Kohberger, took to and from the quadruple homicide home on November 13.What evidence was found in the Idaho murders? ›
A DNA sample was taken from trash in Pennsylvania.
On December 28,2022, the Idaho State Lab reported that a DNA profile obtained from the trash and the DNA profile obtained from the sheath, identified a male as not being excluded as the biological father of Suspect Profile.
Kohberger, 28, is being held without bail at the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho — the same town where he allegedly snuck into a six-bedroom home in the middle of the night and ambushed four young people, some of whom may have been sleeping at the start of the attack.Where were the bodies found in the Idaho murders? ›
The victims were found on the second and third floors of the home, Idaho State Police Communications Director Aaron Snell told CNN earlier on Friday.How many roommates survived Idaho murders? ›
One of two roommates who survived a gruesome quadruple homicide in their Idaho home last year has agreed to be interviewed by the defense, days after her attorney asked a judge to reject a request for her to attend the suspect's hearing in June.Why did Idaho roommates not call 911? ›
MOSCOW, Idaho - The Idaho murder victims' surviving female roommate likely didn't call for help after coming face-to-face with accused killer Bryan Kohberger because she may have been paralyzed by fear and confusion, experts told Fox News Digital.
What was the motive of the Kohberger? ›
Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was likely motivated by "arousal" and "hatred" when he slipped into an off campus home in the dead of night and allegedly stabbed four students to death, experts told Fox News Digital.What evidence is there against Bryan in Idaho murders? ›
Medical gloves, a black sweatshirt, socks, shorts, sneakers, and a buccal swab were seized from the Pennsylvania home of the parents of the man accused in the gruesome stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, according to a newly unsealed search warrant in the case.Who was crying in Idaho murders? ›
Bryan Kohberger faces crying Idaho murder victims' families in court after affidavit reveals horror details.Who is the accused killer of the Idaho murders? ›
Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November. Pennsylvania State Police and FBI arrested Kohberger in the early morning hours of Dec. 30 at his family home in the Pocono Mountains, nearly seven weeks after four students were stabbed to death on Nov.What is the name of the suspect in the Idaho murders? ›
Idaho murders: Search warrant for Bryan Kohberger unsealed
The FBI recovered four medical-style gloves and a silver flashlight last year when they searched the Pennsylvania home of the parents of the man charged with killing four University of Idaho students. A buccal swab DNA test was also recovered Dec.
The man walked toward the home's rear sliding-glass door, and Dylan retreated into her bedroom and locked the door. She described the killer as at least 5-foot-10, athletically built but not very muscular, with bushy eyebrows.Who are the parents of the Idaho killer? ›
Born in 1994, Kohberger is the youngest child and only son of Michael Kohberger Jr., 67, and Maryann Kohberger, 62.Who were the 4 chain Idaho murders? ›
More than six weeks after four University of Idaho students were mysteriously stabbed to death in a house near the Moscow, Idaho, campus, a suspect was identified and taken into custody. The four slain students were Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.Who is the suspect in the Moscow Idaho murders update? ›
Kohberger, a former Washington State University graduate student in criminology, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin -- who were found stabbed to death in an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho on Nov. 13, 2022.Which states have the most serial killers? ›
Has Idaho ever had a serial killer? ›
Idaho's most well-known serial killer is Joseph Edward Duncan III, who murdered 5 to 7 (or more) people from 1996-2005 in Wolf Lodge, Idaho. Idaho was also home to Lyda Southard, also known as Lady Bluebeard, who is considered to be Idaho's first serial killer.What DNA was found in the Idaho murders? ›
According to the newly unsealed court documents, traces of DNA from a lone male later determined to be Kohberger were found on the button of a leather knife sheath found in the rental home where the victims were killed.Who found the bodies in the Idaho murders? ›
New details have emerged about the Idaho murders crime scene despite a gag order in the case. Sources close to the investigation told NewsNation that Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle's bodies were first found by his best friend, who reportedly checked their pulses before speaking to a 911 dispatcher.What happened to the dog in the Idaho murders? ›
More On: university of idaho murders
“The dog was unharmed and turned over to Animal Services,” the department said. The traumatized animal was later handed off to a “responsible party,” authorities said.
More On: university of idaho murders
Three of the victims — Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Xana Kernodle, 20 — lived at this house where the Nov. 13 attack occurred. The fourth victim, 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, was there visiting his girlfriend Xana at the time.
Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were all stabbed to death in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. A masked intruder entered the home and killed the four students with a fixed-blade knife, police say.Where were the bodies found in the Idaho house? ›
Investigators later found a shoe print that they say may have been left by the intruder just outside Mortensen's bedroom door. Police found the bodies of Kernodle and Chapin in either Kernodle's bedroom or the second-floor bathroom.What happens if you can't talk to 911? ›
When calls are received where there is no voice response or difficulty understanding the caller, the 911 Call Taker will complete a call trace to determine the location of the caller and assist with contacting police for that location.Does 911 ever not answer? ›
It's called an “abandoned call”. They have to follow up and try to reach you, which prolongs the processing time, keeping you on the phone longer and blocking other calls coming in. Also, and I hate to say this, but you can't rely completely on 911 to rescue you.Who are the surviving roommates from Idaho? ›
(NewsNation) — Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen were the survivors of the University of Idaho murders allegedly committed by Bryan Kohberger.
What do we know about Bryan Kohberger? ›
Kohberger, 28, was charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary. He appeared in a Pennslyvania courtroom on Jan. 3 and waived his extradition to Idaho, meaning he had voluntarily agreed to return to the state to face the charges against him. He was transported back to Idaho on Jan. 4.Was Bryan Kohberger in the military? ›
While Bryan took law enforcement classes, he was never part of the U.S. military. Later in life, he moved away from his dreams of joining the military and established a career in the academic field instead.What was Bryan Kohberger's motivation? ›
Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was likely motivated by "arousal" and "hatred" when he slipped into an off campus home in the dead of night and allegedly stabbed four students to death, experts told Fox News Digital.Who was the criminologist in the Idaho murders? ›
Kohberger was pursuing a Ph. D. in criminology at Washington State University at Pullman when the killings took place. Bryan Kohberger appeared at a courthouse in Latah County, Idaho, last Thursday to face murder charges for the brutal killings of four University of Idaho students in November.Who was the serial killer in Bryan Texas? ›
|James Otto Earhart|
|Date apprehended||May 26, 1987|
"Where are you headed?" the deputy asks. "Well, we're coming from WSU," Kohberger's father, Michael Kohberger, begins to reply, before a passing car drowns out his voice.Who are the parents of Kohberger? ›
Born in 1994, Kohberger is the youngest child and only son of Michael Kohberger Jr., 67, and Maryann Kohberger, 62.Who are Bryan Kohberger's sisters? ›
The two sisters, Amanda and Melissa Kohberger, lost their jobs over a few months after Bryan Kohberger was arrested for the quadruple murders. It was further revealed that Bryan's parents are retired and the family is currently going through a tough financial phase.Who was the child killer in Idaho? ›
An Idaho grand jury indicted Lori and Chad on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Lori's children, Tylee and J.J. Chad also was charged in the murder of his previous wife, Tammy, whose death had drawn added attention after the children went missing.What was the Idaho killer studying? ›
Kohberger was a Ph. D. student studying criminology.