(NEW YORK) — The 28-year-old accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death was studying criminal justice at the time of the murders.
More than six weeks after the gruesome slaying shocked the college town of Moscow, Idaho, the suspect, Bryan Kohberger, was arrested in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains in the early hours of Dec. 30. Kohberger was a Ph.D. graduate student at Washington State University, located about 10 miles away from the University of Idaho.
The victims were roommates Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen and Xana Kernodle, as well as Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin. Two other roommates — who police said are not suspects — survived and likely slept through the murders, according to officials. The students were fatally stabbed in the early hours of Nov. 13 at an off-campus house in Moscow.
Kohberger finished his first semester in Washington State’s criminal justice program last month, the university said.
Search warrants have been executed at Kohberger’s apartment and office on the WSU campus, the university said.
Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree from DeSales University in Pennsylvania in 2020 and completed graduate studies there in June 2022, according to DeSales.
After Kohberger’s semester at Washington State ended this December, he and his father drove cross-country together, arriving at the family’s Pennsylvania home on Dec. 13, exactly one month after the murders, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar told ABC News.
They drove the pre-planned road trip in the white Hyundai Elantra which authorities said they were looking for in connection to the murders, according to LaBar.
The father and son were pulled over twice in Indiana, once for speeding and once for tailgating, LaBar said.
Although police have not disclosed what led them to the suspect, law enforcement sources told ABC News that authorities in Idaho identified Kohberger as a suspect through public DNA genealogy databases.
The FBI was surveying the house in Pennsylvania for four days prior to the arrest, sources said.
Police have also not released a motive. The probable cause affidavit, which details the reasons for his arrest, is sealed and will not be released until he returns to Idaho, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said.
Kohberger was arrested for four counts of first-degree murder and burglary, Thompson said. He’s scheduled to appear in court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Kohberger’s attorney said in a statement that the Ph.D. student will not fight extradition to Idaho.
“Mr. Kohberger is eager to be exonerated of these charges,” LaBar said.
Kohberger’s family said in a statement, “We care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother. We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions.”
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