BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A suspect arrested in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students plans to waive an extradition hearing so that he can be quickly brought to Idaho to face murder charges, defense attorney said Saturday.
Bryan Kohberger is a 28-year-old Ph.D. A student and lecturer at Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology was detained by Pennsylvania State Police early Friday morning at his family’s home in Chestnuthill Township, officials said.
“We believe we’ve got our man,” Captain Anthony Dahlinger of the Moscow Police Department told the Associated Press on Saturday.
Dahlinger said investigators obtained Kohberger’s DNA samples directly from the suspect after the suspect was arrested.
“He is the person we believe is responsible for all four of the murders,” he said.
Bill Thompson, a prosecutor in Latah County, Idaho, said at a news conference Friday that investigators believe Kohberger broke into the University of Idaho students’ home near the campus “with the intent to commit murder.” The bodies of the students – Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin – were found on November 1. 13, hours after investigators believed they were dead.
The arrest of the troubling case brought a sense of relief in the small northern Idaho college town after weeks passed with little information from the police. But it also raised questions about whether the suspect knew the victims, what he had done in the weeks since the murders, and how authorities tracked him down in Pennsylvania.
Many of these details will be revealed after Kohberger first appears in an Idaho courtroom, Dahlinger said. State law prohibits police from releasing most investigative records while the investigation is ongoing, and investigators have kept many details of the investigation confidential to avoid damaging the case.
“I hope everyone out there can understand the ‘why’ we keep a lot of information behind us close to our vests,” Dahlinger said. “This is the positive result we’ve been looking for the entire time.”
Kohberger’s attorney and attorney general, Jason LaBar, said Kohberger is willing to come clean and plans to tell a judge in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday that he will waive his extradition hearing so he can be brought to Idaho quickly.
LaBar also warned people not to adjudicate on the case until a fair trial has been made. The case sparked a great deal of speculation on social media; prospective spies suggest possible causes and often try to blame the deaths on various friends and acquaintances of the victims.
“Mr. LaBar wrote that Kohberger has been charged with very serious crimes, but the American justice system has concealed him under a veil of innocence. “He must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise – he should not be tried in public court.”
Dahlinger said police are now trying to understand “every aspect” of Kohberger. When the arrest was announced, investigators urged anyone who knew Kohberger to call the tip line to share information.
The answer came right away.
“We got 400 calls in the first hour after the press conference, which is great,” Dahlinger said. “Now we’re trying to build this picture of him: who is he, his past, how we got to this event, why this event happened.”
Neighbors of the Kohberger family in Chestnuthill Township, Pennsylvania, told The (Scranton) Times-Tribune on Friday that they were shocked to see law enforcement vehicles outside their home.
Eileen Cesaretti, who lives across the street, said Kohberger loved her parents and cared for their son, who she said helped her and her husband around the house while they were home from school.
“I don’t think he could do such a thing. “I pray to God that he is innocent,” said Courage.
Nephi Duff lives next door to Bryan Kohberger in a Washington State University apartment complex for graduate students and their families. Washington-based KREM2 television told Spokane that recent crimes, such as the murders in Moscow, have made him feel insecure.
“I don’t remember ever seeing him around,” Duff said of Kohberger. “I thought I was moving to a safe, small community, but lately that hasn’t been the case. I’m just thinking, if this is happening right under my nose, how do I protect (my family)?”
BK Norton, a WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology student, said on Friday that they didn’t know Kohberger well but didn’t like him.
“We interacted in class, but I wasn’t personally a fan of Bryan because of the comments he made about LGBTQ+ people,” they told the Associated Press in an email. “He was a little different, but I always thought it was because he was clumsy and wanted to fit in.”
Federal and state investigators are now scanning Kohberger’s background, financial records, and electronic communications as they work to establish a reasoning and establish the case, as a law enforcement officer unable to publicly discuss the details of the ongoing investigation and conditionally unable to speak to the Associated Press. Anonymity Investigators also interviewed people who knew Kohberger, including those at WSU, the official said.
Latah County Attorney Thompson said Kohberger was held in Pennsylvania without any collateral and will be held in Idaho without any collateral when he returns. Thompson said the affidavit on four first-degree murder charges in Idaho would remain closed until extradition. He is also charged with felony theft in Idaho. An extradition hearing will be held on Tuesday.
Students — Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Ethan Chapin, 20, from Conway, Washington, were members and close friends of the university’s Greek system. Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle lived in the three-story rental house with two other roommates. Kernodle and Chapin were dating and visiting the house that night.
Autopsies shown all four were probably asleep when they were attacked. Some had defensive wounds and were each stabbed multiple times. Police said there were no signs of sexual assault.
Ben Roberts, a graduate student in criminology and criminal justice at WSU, described Kohberger as confident and extroverted, but said he seemed to be “always looking for a way to fit in.”
“To be honest, I saw him as a very strange person.” said Roberts.
Roberts says she started the program with Kohberger in August and has taken several courses with him. She described Kohberger as someone who wanted to appear academic.
“One thing he always did was come up with the most complicated way to explain something, almost without fail,” he said.
Dahlinger said the arrest was a bittersweet moment for law enforcement.
“We’re so excited we were able to find Mr. Let’s take Kohberger into custody, but we’re all still sad and sad,” he said. “We grieve for the loss of families and loved ones.”
Levy reported from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Balsamo, Washington. Rhonda Shafner, News Researcher in New York; reporters Mark Scolforo and Brooke Schultz in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Michael Kunzelman of Silver Spring, Maryland; and Martha Bellisle in Seattle also contributed.
Leave a Comment