After nearly seven weeks of intense investigation, authorities have arrested and charged Bryan Kohberger, 28, in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students. This article provides an overview of the arrest and charges, shedding light on the tragic events that took the lives of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. The information presented here is based on official statements and reports from reliable sources.
Bryan Kohberger was arrested on Friday, December 30, in Pennsylvania, in relation to the murders of the four University of Idaho students. He was subsequently charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary. On January 3, Kohberger appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom and voluntarily waived his extradition to Idaho. He was transported back to Idaho on January 4 to face the charges against him.
The slayings occurred on November 13 in an off-campus rental home located in Moscow, Idaho. Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were tragically stabbed to death. It is important to note that Ethan Chapin was not a resident in the home but was staying overnight with his girlfriend, Xana Kernodle. Two other roommates who were present at the 1122 King Road residence, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, were unharmed.
Initially, it was believed that the surviving roommates had slept through the attack. However, a probable cause affidavit, released after Kohberger’s return to Idaho, revealed new information. One of the surviving roommates reported seeing the killer as a “figure clad in black clothing and a mask” who passed by her while leaving the crime scene. Additionally, she recalled hearing crying on the night of the killings. The affidavit also indicated that Kohberger was linked to the crime scene through DNA and cell phone pings.
Following Kohberger’s arrest, reactions among those who knew him varied. Some expressed shock and disbelief at the allegations, while others revealed they were less surprised. The community and the university have been deeply affected by the tragic loss of these young lives.
The arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students marked a significant development in this tragic case. The charges he faces underscore the severity of the crime. As the legal proceedings progress, the community mourns the loss of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.
What We Know
- Bryan Kohberger, the suspected Idaho serial killer, expressed shock and disbelief when confronted with the allegations against him, according to Monroe County, Pa., public defender Jason LaBar. LaBar, who represented Kohberger during the extradition procedures, revealed that Kohberger was “shocked a little bit” by the accusations.
- Kohberger’s childhood experiences paint a complex picture of his interactions with others. While some individuals who knew him during his younger years recall him being bullied, others allege that he was a bully himself. Sarah Healy, who attended school with Kohberger, mentioned that he was frequently bullied due to his weight, particularly by female peers. On the other hand, Casey Arntz, a high school classmate, stated that Kohberger had anger issues and would occasionally bully others, including her brother.
- During his teenage years, Kohberger was allegedly involved in drug use, specifically heroin. Classmates from Pleasant Valley High School remember him using heroin and even offering it to others before he entered rehab in 2013. Lee Mack, who befriended Kohberger during this period, stated that they had to end their friendship when Kohberger offered heroin to one of their mutual friends. However, Kohberger later reached out to Mack, expressing his desire to get clean and make positive changes in his life.
- Kohberger holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, which he obtained from a local community college near his hometown. Jack Baylis, a childhood friend, described Kohberger as exceptionally curious, particularly about psychology and understanding how people think.
- Additionally, Kohberger pursued further education and received a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales University. According to classmates and acquaintances, Kohberger had a longstanding interest in criminal justice and was passionate about analyzing crime scenes and theories related to serial killers.
- In April 2022, Kohberger interviewed for a position as a graduate research assistant at the Pullman, Washington, police department. He expressed enthusiasm and appreciation in a note to then-Police Chief Gary Jenkins following the interview.
- Several months before the murders, a local bar in Bethlehem, Pa., issued a warning to Kohberger due to his interactions with female staff and customers. The bar owner, Jordan Serulneck, revealed that Kohberger would make creepy comments, ask personal questions, and become upset if women were not interested in talking to him. Serulneck had a conversation with Kohberger about his behavior, after which Kohberger never returned to the bar.
- At the time of the killings, Kohberger was pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University. Classmates and acquaintances described him as intelligent but quiet, with some mentioning that he made disparaging remarks about the LGBTQ+ community. Kohberger’s behavior apparently changed after the murders, becoming more talkative and willing to engage in conversations.
- Kohberger also worked as a teaching assistant at Washington State University. Students who had him as their teaching assistant noticed a significant shift in his grading and behavior following the date of the murders. He went from being a tough grader to giving out perfect scores and leaving minimal comments.
- Body camera footage released after Kohberger’s arrest showed him getting pulled over twice in one day during a road trip from Washington to Pennsylvania. He was driving a white Hyundai Elantra, the same vehicle associated with the case, but was let off with verbal warnings for following too closely. Authorities later seized the vehicle from his family home.
- DNA evidence found on the sheath of a knife left at the crime scene linked Kohberger to the murders. Detectives matched this DNA to trash collected from Kohberger’s parents’ home in Pennsylvania. The affidavit also stated that Kohberger’s cellphone pinged in the area of the crime scenes during the relevant time frame.
- During his extradition process, Kohberger appeared visibly nervous and was overheard narrating to himself. In a brief moment, he expressed sadness about what had happened to the victims, but provided no further details.
- It was revealed that Kohberger followed all three female victims on Instagram. Authorities uncovered messages between Kohberger and one of the victims, but the exact nature and content of their communication have not been disclosed.