Idaho killer brought to justice


Bryan Kohberger is escorted by police. Kohberger was arrested for the murder of four University of Idaho students.

Lauren Johnston, Staff Writer

Bryan Kohberger was arrested on December 30 in Eastern Pennsylvania for the murders of four University of Idaho students, Ethan Chapin,Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves. 

The murder took place on November 13 in Moscow, Idaho where three of the victims lived with two other students while Chapin happened to be visiting for the weekend. 

Kohberger was a Ph.D. student studying criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, a 20 minute drive from the victims’ residence. 

Kohberger’s relationship to the victims has not yet been determined. Law enforcement was able to link Kohberger to the crime through eyewitnesses, DNA and phone and car tracking. 

In the affidavit released at the start of Kohlberg’s trial, a surviving roommate, identified as D.M in documents, was awoken at 4 a.m by a noise upstairs that she believed to be Goncalves playing with her dog. 

D.M then heard what she thought was Goncalves saying, “There’s someone here,” but when she looked out her bedroom door she didn’t see anything. When she opened her door a second time she heard more noises including crying, a male voice saying, “It’s ok, I’m going to help you,” and a dog barking. 

The third time D.M opened her door “she heard the crying and saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her,” but he walked past her as she remained in a “frozen, shock phase,” according to the affidavit. 

The person walked toward the sliding glass door at the back of the home when D.M locked herself in her room. 

At 4:17 a.m. a neighbor’s security camera picked up distorted audio of whimpering followed by a loud thud with a dog barking in the background. 

One of the key factors in solving this case was finding the owner of the Hyundai Elantra that was seen passing around the house multiple times at 3:30 a.m and then at 4:20 a.m. It was then seen traveling away at a high rate of speed. 

On November 29, law enforcement was  able to match the vehicle using traffic camera footage back to a 2015 Hyundai Elantra owned by Bryan Kohberger who registered for new license plates five days after the murder. 

Phone records showed that Kohberger was seen outside the victims’ residence 12 times dating as far back as June 2022. According to the court documents, Kohberger’s phone was also seen at the residence hours after the murder was committed. 

After these details were found further DNA evidence was obtained by law enforcement by collecting trash where he was residing in Pennsylvania. 

“On December 28, 2022, the Idaho State Lab reported that a DNA profile obtained from the trash and the DNA profile obtained from the sheath, identified a male as not being excluded as the biological father of Suspect Profile,” the affidavit states.

The DNA match allowed for the arrest of Bryan Kohbeger . He was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a count of felony burglary and is currently being held in Latah County without bail.