New evidence links Idaho killings to Bryan Kohberger, say investigators

More evidence that points to Bryan Kohberger in the Idaho killings is released

Authorities in Idaho have made public what they believe to be the most thorough evidence to date linking a suspect Bryan Kohberger detained and charged with murder in connection with the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students. The man was apprehended last week.

More evidence that points to Bryan Kohberger in the Idaho killings is released
Bryan Kohberger (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)

The recovery of a DNA sample from a leather knife sheath that was discovered in one of the victims’ beds that appears to be a strong match for Kohberger is one of the new pieces of information. Another piece of information is the revelation that a roommate of the victims had been awoken during the night and seen a strange masked man exit the house.

Bryan Kohberger has been charged with murder by the authorities in Idaho in connection with the deaths of four students who were stabbed in November.

Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D. student at the nearby Washington State University who is 28 years old, has been charged with four charges of murder in the first degree and one count of criminal burglary in connection with the incident.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death early on the morning of November 13 in the home in Moscow, Idaho, where three of the students lived together with two other students. Xana Kernodle was the only one of the four students to survive the attack. Chapin, the fourth victim, was spending the night with Kernodle, who he was dating at the time.

The statements made by the roommate to the police

According to witnesses and the victims’ acquaintances, the four people who were attacked had been partying as usual on the Saturday night before the attack occurred. Mogen and Goncalves had been to a pub and stopped by a food truck on their way home to their residence on King Road. Chapin and Kernodle had been to a fraternity party. Everyone had returned home by 2:00 AM, and the majority of them had fallen asleep by 4:00 AM.

Two of the other housemates were not involved in the assault. Moscow police said in an affidavit that was released on Thursday that one roommate, identified in the document as “D.M.,” was awoken at approximately 4 a.m. by sounds coming from upstairs. One of the sounds that she heard was what she believed to be her roommate Goncalves saying, “there’s someone here.”

D.M. peeked out her bedroom door but didn’t see anything. After that, she told the investigators that she heard other noises, including weeping, a male voice saying, “it’s ok, I’m going to assist you,” more voices, a loud crash, and a dog barking. She also heard a dog barking.

According to the affidavit, she reopened her door and observed “a figure wearing in black attire and a mask” heading toward her this time after she had closed it again.

She identified the perpetrator as a male stranger and described him as being at least 5 feet 10 inches tall, “not very muscular but athletically built with bushy eyebrows.”

After the man moved past her toward the rear sliding door of the house while she “stood in a ‘frozen shock phase,'” the detectives stated that the roommate locked herself inside her room after the incident.

The police followed the suspect’s car both to and from the scene of the crime

In addition, investigators combed the area surrounding the home on King Road to collect video footage. The footage revealed a white sedan, which was later determined to be a Hyundai Elantra, driving toward the home at approximately 3:30 a.m., making several passes by the home, and then fleeing the area at approximately 4:20 a.m. “at a high rate of speed.”

Shortly before 3 a.m., security footage from the campus of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where Kohberger is a graduate student, showed a similar white sedan heading in the direction of Moscow, approximately 15 miles away across the state line, and then appearing to return around 5:30 a.m. Kohberger is currently a post-graduate learner at WSU.

On November 29, the Washington State University Police Department conducted a search of vehicles registered to WSU students and located a white 2015 Hyundai Elantra that was registered to Bryan Kohberger. The vehicle had Pennsylvania license plates when it was first purchased but was later transferred to Washington.

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After that, they followed his mobile activity

The police made the discovery that Kohberger had been the subject of a traffic stop back in August after they had already identified him as a possible suspect in the case. At that moment, he provided the police in Moscow with his contact number.

Late in the month of December, the investigators began looking into the suspect’s cellphone data in an effort to determine whether or not his phone had communicated with any mobile towers in the area of the crime site or while traveling to and from the scene.

An initial investigation revealed that the suspect’s phone did not “ping” any cell phone towers in the area around the crime site on November 13 between the hours of 3 and 5 in the morning.

However, investigators noticed that the absence of cellphone pings could be “an effort to avoid notifying law enforcement” of one’s vicinity of a crime scene, as they claimed. This was something that they said.

In the course of expanding their search, the authorities found that Kohberger’s phone had communicated with cell towers in Pullman at approximately 2:47 a.m. This activity was consistent with the phone having left Kohberger’s residence “and traveled south through Pullman,” according to the affidavit.

According to the investigators, that was the final ping for approximately two hours. The phone emerged on the network once more at 4:48 a.m., this time pinging along routes south of Moscow, then west across the border into Washington state, and then back north toward Pullman – a schedule that investigators noticed corresponds with security footage of the white Elantra.

According to the affidavit, the fact that the phone was disconnected from the network for a period of two hours suggests that the suspect was making an effort “to disguise his location throughout the quadruple killing.”

The affidavit does not contain any evidence to suggest that Kohberger’s phone had been in communication with any of the victims or anyone connected to them.

However, according to the findings of the investigation, his phone had made at least 12 calls to cellphone towers in the vicinity of the King Road house before the murders. One of these calls was made as early as August 21, which was the day before he was scheduled to begin attending graduate school at Washington State. According to the declaration, the majority of these occurrences took place either late at night or very early in the morning.

A return of the phone to the vicinity of the crime scene occurred at approximately 9:15 a.m. on November 13, almost five hours after the stabbings, but before the incident was reported to the police.

The relocation of Kohberger

Midway through the month of December, when Kohberger’s semester at Washington State University had come to an end, he drove the Elantra back to his family’s home in Pennsylvania. Accompanied by his father, who had traveled to Washington so that the two of them could make the long drive together, Kohberger drove the Elantra back to Pennsylvania.

A traffic check in Indiana and the seizure of the vehicle’s license plate in Colorado both provided proof to the investigators that the vehicle had traveled back to Pennsylvania.

This week, the police in Indiana released a video of a pair of traffic stops along Interstate 70 east of Indianapolis. On the morning of December 15, two different officers pulled the Kohbergers over for tailgating, and both stops were captured on film by the Indiana authorities.

On video captured by the body camera, the younger Kohberger can be seen driving the vehicle while his father is seated in the passenger seat. Both times, the cops let the Kohbergers go without issuing them a ticket after having a lengthy and cordial talk with them.

An opportunity for a DNA match

As a large amount of evidence, including the roommate’s description, the movements of the white Elantra, and the cellphone data, appeared to point to Kohberger, authorities in Idaho enlisted the assistance of the police in Pennsylvania to collect a DNA sample to compare to the one that was recovered from the button snap of a tan leather knife sheath that was found in a bed near the body of one of the victims. The DNA sample was found in a bed near the body of one of the victims.

In the early morning hours of December 27th, law enforcement officers in the state of Pennsylvania retrieved a sample from the garbage that was located outside the home of the Kohberger family in Albrightsville.

According to the affidavit, the Idaho State Crime Lab came to the conclusion that the DNA sample that was discovered in the garbage most likely belonged to the biological father of the individual whose DNA was detected on the knife sheath.

In the affidavit, it is stated that “at least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be removed from the potential of being the suspect’s biological father.” This means that the probability of the suspect having another biological father is extremely unlikely.

Three days later, Kohberger was taken into custody by authorities in Pennsylvania. Soon after, he was taken into custody and transported to Idaho, where he is scheduled to make an appearance in court on Thursday.

Kohberger’s attorney, Jason LaBar, who is also the top public defender for Monroe County in Pennsylvania, stated in an interview on Tuesday that his client “believes he’s going to be exonerated.”

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