Suspect Bryan Kohberger charged with four counts of murder after breaking into Idaho student home

The 28-year-old Washington State University student has also been charged with felony burglary

Bevan Hurley,Sheila Flynn
Friday 30 December 2022 22:33 GMT
Idaho: Police arrest man for murder of four university students
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A 28-year-old criminology graduate student has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the November slayings of four University of Idaho students that shocked and transfixed the nation.

Suspect Bryan Kohberger was arrested early Friday in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania – 2500 miles away from the scene of the crime, police said Friday at a news conference. Kohberger was charged with the murder counts and felony burglary over the 13 November slayings and appeared Friday morning before a judge in Pennsylvania, Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry.

According to the Washington State University website, Mr Kohberger is a PhD graduate student in the criminal justice and criminology department in Pullman, Washington.

Pullman is around nine miles (15kms) west of Moscow, Idaho, where the students lived.

Chief Fry on Friday said he was prevented by state law from revealing what tipped police off to Kohberger’s arrest until the suspect has been extradited to Idaho.

“We have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes, and I believe the community is safe,” Mr Fry said.

The murder weapon, however, has not yet been found, and Mr Fry urged anyone with knowledge of Kohberger to contact authorities with any information about the suspect whatsoever. Prior to his arrest, Mr Fry said the department had received over 19,000 tips and conducted 300 interviews.

“These murders have shaken our community and no arrest could ever bring back these young students,” he said.

He added that authorities had located a Hyundai Elantra that had been spotted in the vicinity of the students’ flat on the night they died.

“Be assured the work is not done, this is just getting started,” he said.

Questions had swirled for nearly seven weeks after the 13 November discovery of the bodies of Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21. The four University of Idaho students were found in an off-campus house the three young women shared just blocks from campus.

Police spent the following weeks parceling out only sparing details as online sleuths seized upon the case and, at times, victim relatives criticised law enforcement for a lack of information. Moscow PD, Idaho State Police and the FBI were among the agencies working together to solve the murders.

Mr Fry said on Friday the he would “100 per cent stand behind how we handled this investigation ... keeping information that was pertinent to this case very very tight. We want to have a situation where when this goes to trial, there is no doubt that we’ve done everything right.”

Kohberger was arrested early Friday morning in Pennsylvania, where he had studied before moving to Idaho. According to school records, he obtained an associate arts degree from Northampton Community College in Albrighstville, PA before graduating from DeSales University in May with a masters degree in criminal justice. The six-foot, 185-pound suspect worked as a part-time security officer at Pleasant Valley School District, which listed his mother as a paraprofessional, until at least August 2021, according to school agenda records. Both of his sisters work as therapists, one in Pennsylvania and another in New Jersey.

The Independent has reached out to members of the Kohberger family.

One of the victim’s relatives, Cheryl Goncalves, told The New York Post the family was “relieved.”

“This is what we wanted,” said Cheryl Goncalves, grandmother of Kaylee. “We wanted him caught and now we want justice.”

Kohberger was scheduled for another court hearing in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Mr Fry said, adding that the suspect could voluntarily choose to return to Idaho to face the charges.

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