What We Know About The Investigation Into Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger

After six weeks of investigation, authorities arrested graduate student Bryan Kohberger on December 30 in the stabbing murders of four University of Idaho students–here’s what we know about the investigation into him, and his actions since the murder occurred.

Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an … [+] extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

Associated Press

November 13Four University of Idaho students—Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen—are stabbed to death in the middle of the night at the girls’ off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho; Two other roommates in the house at the time are not harmed, and discover the victims’ bodies when they wake up later in the morning.

November 15The Moscow Police Department says “investigators believe this was an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large,” and that they are looking for a murder weapon—believed to be a knife—and do not yet have a suspect in custody.

November 16In the police department’s first press conference about the murders, the Moscow Police Chief James Fry recants his team’s previous statement, saying “we cannot say there is no threat to the community;” Fry also says the FBI is one of the agencies working on the case.

After November 13After the murders occurred, graduate student Bryan Kohberger—who has not yet been publicly identified as a suspect in this case—still attends classes for his Ph.D. studies in criminology at Washington State University, roughly 15 minutes from where the murders occurred, students told the New York Times; One student in a class in which Kohberger was a teacher’s assistant in told CNN Kohlberger’s demeanor changes after the crime occurs, saying he seemed “preoccupied” and began grading easier.

December 7Police ask for the public’s help in identifying the owner of a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra, which was seen near the house where the murders occurred early in the day of November 13, saying “investigators believe the occupant(s) of this vehicle may have critical information to share regarding this case.”

Mid December Kohberger travels by car in a white Hyundai Elantra from nearby Washington to his parent’s home in Pennsylvania on a pre-planned road trip with his father; At some point on this journey, authorities begin tracking him, a law enforcement source told CNN.

December 15Kohberger is pulled over twice while driving through Indiana, first by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for following too closely, and nine minutes later by the Indiana State Police for the same reason, and he was let go with a warning both times; Neither detainment was related to the murders, and both organizations said they were unaware Kohberger was considered a suspect at the time.

December 17Kohberger arrives in Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with his family around this date, his court-appointed extradition lawyer Jason LaBar told CNN.

December 26An FBI surveillance team begins tracking Kohberger, while law enforcement and prosecutors work to gain a probable cause warrant for his arrest, law enforcement sources told CNN.

December 30Kohberger is arrested at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, around 2 a.m., on four counts of first degree murder and one count of felony burglary and officers seize a 2015 white Hyundai Elantra; He initially waives his Miranda rights and speaks to law enforcement for no more than 15 minutes before asking for a lawyer, LaBar told Law&Crime.

December 30Steve Goncalves, the father of victim Kaylee Goncalves, says that his family has noticed connections between Kohberger and his daughter, which they are not ready to discuss.

December 31CNN reports the investigation turned towards Kohberger using DNA evidence and a public DNA database, and by identifying him as the owner of the car.

January 3Kohberger agrees to be extradited to Idaho at a court hearing in Pennsylvania; Authorities say he will arrive in the state within 10 days, and details of his transportation will not be shared for security reasons.

January 4Kohberger leaves Monroe County Correctional Facility in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, officials say, seemingly to begin his extradition to Idaho.

What To Watch For
Once Kohberger arrives in Idaho, he will make his initial appearance in court, ahead of his preliminary hearing. He will be served an arrest warrant, and when that warrant is returned to the court, the probable cause affidavit—which is expected to contain crucial information about what led authorities to Kohberger—will be unsealed. Kohberger has not yet submitted a plea, but LaBar said “he’s looking forward to being exonerated. Those were his words.” Kohberger will be held at the Latah County Jail.

Key Background
The gruesome attacks captured the attention of the small town of Moscow, which hasn’t seen a murder in seven years, and the nation, as officials stayed mum about potential suspects or leads. Police said they received over 19,000 tips relating to the case, and investigated them to rule out the surviving roommates and other people the victims interacted with the night before they died. A murder weapon, believed to be a knife, has still not been discovered. On Tuesday, Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a gag order on investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and prosecutors and the defense team concerning the case.

Police said they investigated a claim that Kaylee Goncalves told family and friends she had a stalker, though they could not identify such an individual. They revealed that in October, a man followed her throughout a business and as she walked to her car, and this may have been the stalker she referred to. However, they said this was an isolated incident and as of December, there was no evidence this man was connected to the murders.

Further Reading
Suspect Arrested In University Of Idaho Killings (Forbes)

University Of Idaho Killings: Here’s What We Know About The Accused Suspect (Forbes)

Bryan Kohberger Waives Extradition: Details About Idaho Murder Suspect’s Arrest Can Be Unsealed After Transfer (Forbes)

Read More

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