How police found their suspect


Authorities arrested a 28-year-old criminal justice graduate student in the mysterious murders of four University of Idaho students that shook a small community that hadn’t reported a murder in five years.

Bryan Kohberger, a doctoral student at nearby Washington State University, was arrested in eastern Pennsylvania. The students – Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Xana Kernodle, 20 – were stabbed to death at a rental home near campus in Moscow, Idaho.

DNA evidence played a key role in identifying Kohberger as a suspect in the killings; authorities were able to match his DNA to genetic material recovered during the investigation, a law enforcement official said. In recent days, federal investigators had been watching Kohberger.

Here’s what we know about Kohberger’s past and the investigation’s timeline.

Suspect moved to Washington state months before murder

Kohberger received an associate’s degree in psychology from Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania in 2018, the school confirmed to USA TODAY. Kohberger also attended DeSales University in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed graduate studies in June, the university said in a statement Friday.

He graduated with a master of arts in criminal justice, according to the school’s online commencement program. “As a Catholic, Salesian community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy,” DeSales University said in a statement.

He then began his program at Washington State University.

WHAT WE WE KNOW ABOUT BRYAN KOHBERGER: Suspect arrested in the slaying of 4 University of Idaho students

Nov. 12: Students attend party     

Reconstructing the evening before the four students were killed, the Moscow Police Department said that between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. PST, Chapin and Kernodle attended a party at Chapin’s fraternity house, Sigma Chi, on campus.

From 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., police said, friends Goncalves and Mogen were at The Corner Club, a sports bar in Moscow.

Nov. 13: Victims found dead        

By 1 a.m., the students’ two surviving roommates had arrived home and gone to sleep. Police said the students slept through the murders and didn’t wake up until later in the morning. 

After leaving the Corner Club, Goncalves and Mogen picked up food at the “Grub Truck” food truck, then got a ride home from “a private party,” police said. All four victims had returned to the rental house where Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle lived by 1:45 a.m.

Police reported that just before noon, the two surviving roommates woke up and summoned friends to their home, believing a victim on the second floor had passed out and wasn’t waking. A 911 call was then placed from the home on a roommate’s cellphone to report an unconscious person.

Authorities responded to the call at 11:58 a.m. They found the four students,  each stabbed multiple times, on the second and third floors of the residence.

Nov. 17: Victims’ autopsies conducted

The Latah County Coroner said that the four students were probably asleep when they were killed but that some had defensive wounds. The autopsy report said there was no sign of sexual assault.

On Nov. 19, authorities asked the public to provide any video of the home the night of the murder.

Nov. 30: Students hold vigil at University of Idaho

Hundreds of students gathered for a vigil in honor of the four students, sponsored by the University of Idaho. “The only cure to pain is love – it’s the only thing that’s going to heal us. It’s the only thing that’s going to heal you,” said Steve Goncalves, father of Kaylee Goncalves. 

PAYING TRIBUTE TO UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO STUDENTS: School remembers slain students amid mystery and a killer still at large

Dec. 15: Sorting through vehicle information

Moscow police, searching for a Hyundai Elantra that had been seen in the area, announced they were sorting through registrations for 22,000 registered Elantras from the model years 2011 to 2013.

Dec. 30: Kohberger’s arrest announced   

The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police arrested Kohberger on a fugitive-from-justice warrant at a home in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Moscow police and Latah County prosecutors held a news conference Friday afternoon to announce he had been arrested.

Prosecutors and police said they were still seeking information from the public to help their investigation. They urged anyone who had information about Kohberger or any other information about the case to contact or 208-883-7180.

Jan. 3 Kohberger waives right to a hearing

In a brief afternoon appearance before a judge in a Pennsylvania courtroom, Kohberger declared his mental competency and signed a waiver agreeing to waive his right to an extradition hearing. He briefly acknowledged his parents and two sisters before being escorted from the room.

Jan. 4: Kohberger extradited back to Idaho

Kohberger was flown by Pennsylvania State Police to a small airport near the Idaho border and handed over to local authorities. Local media outlets, including NBC affiliate KHQ-TV, showed footage of Kohberger in a red jumpsuit being escorted by authorities on the ground.

Uniformed law enforcement officers were waiting on the tarmac for the plane to land, and then they escorted the handcuffed Kohberger to a caravan of five vehicles for the short drive across the Idaho border.

Contributing: Grace Hauck, Terry Collins, Jeanine Santucci, and Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY; Micaela Hood and Brian Myszkowski, the Pocono Record ;The Associated Press

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