The authorities closely tracked down the suspect in the murders of 4 Idaho college students while he traveled across the United States at the time of Christmas. They continued to watch the suspect for several days before being able to arrest him on Friday afternoon according to sources.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28 was detained within his state Pennsylvania and was charged with 4 counts of first-degree murder and criminal burglary, in connection to the murders of 4 University of Idaho students in November in the state of Pennsylvania, according the Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson.
Kaylee Goncalves Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, and Madison Mogen were killed November 13 at the University of Idaho.
But, they haven’t yet publicly stated the motive of the suspect or if he had any connection to the victims. The weapon used in the murder has not been found, Moscow Police Chief James Fry declared on Friday.
In the more than seven weeks after the students were discovered dead at a residence off campus investigators have conducted over 300 interviews, and have gathered around 22,000 tips as they search to identify the person responsible. The murders as well as the extended period of time without an suspect or major developments – have shaken all of the University of Idaho community and the nearby town of Moscow where there has not witnessed a crime for seven years.
The investigation focused on Kohberger for the role of suspect based on DNA evidence and confirmed the car was the white Hyundai Elantra located close to the scene of the crime, as per two police officials who were briefed about the investigation.
Kohberger the suspect, who police say was just a few minutes from the site of the crime and is a doctoral candidate at the Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology the school has confirmed.
He drove across the country in white Hyundai Elantra, and made it to the home of his parents in Pennsylvania just before Christmas according to the law enforcement source. Police were following the vehicle as he drove, and were also monitoring the house of his parents according to the source.
The FBI surveillance team followed for four days before his arrest. Law enforcement teamed up with prosecutors to come up with enough probable cause to get an arrest warrant, the two law officials said.
Genetic genealogy methods were employed to link Kohberger to DNA evidence that was not identified an additional source who has knowledge of the investigation tells CNN. The DNA was then analyzed in an online database that could identify possible matches between family members as well as subsequent investigations by law enforcement officials led to his being identified as the suspect, according to the source.
What will happen next?
Kohberger was in court early on Friday early in Pennsylvania and is currently being held without bail until his extradition hearing scheduled for the 3rd of January, according to court records.
The suspect is able to waive extradition and go back to Idaho in a voluntary manner. However, if he does not choose to return, Moscow police must start extradition proceedings with the governor’s office. This may take a while, Fry said.
Even with a suspect being charged the law enforcement work isn’t done the prosecutors claimed.
“This isn’t the end of the investigation. Actually, this is an opportunity for a fresh start,” Thompson said Friday evening.
Thompson encouraged people to keep making tips and asked anyone who has information on that person suspected of being the suspect “to come forward, call the tip line, report anything you know about him to help the investigators.”
After the deaths of four students that were killed – Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, as well as Ethan Chapin, 20 some people in the community have become angry because investigators have yet give a full account of the events that transpired. Authorities have only released a handful of detailsabout the perpetrators, including of the events leading to the incident and the people they have excluded as suspects.
Fry informed reporters on Friday that the law in Idaho limits the authorities are allowed to release prior to when Kohberger is scheduled to appear before an Idaho court. In the probable cause document that outlines the basis of Kohberger’s allegations and is kept secret until the suspect has been physically present in Latah County, Idaho and is served with the Idaho police warrant for arrest, Thompson said.
What do we know about the suspect
Kohberger has a residence in Pullman, Washington, a city that is located about nine miles from the scene of the murders, authorities confirmed. His home and office located on the Washington State University’s Pullman campus were conducted by law enforcement agencies on early Friday morning, according to the university stated in a press release.
He graduated in June of 2022. completed his master’s courses in DeSales University, where he was also an undergraduate as per a statement on the website of the school. He also earned an associate’s diploma from Northampton Community College in 2018 the college has confirmed.
In an Reddit post that was removed following Kohberger’s arrest was made public A student investigator named Bryan Kohberger who was associated with an DeSales University study sought participation in a study “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime.”
“In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience,” the article stated.
The principal researcher in the study is Professor from DeSales University, but they did not speak to the issue. The university hasn’t responded to requests for comments.