The vicious killings of four University of Idaho students shocked the country, not because the methods the killer used to murder his victims were brutal—but because he could get away with it at the time. Moreover, how could two people in the same home who were left unharmed be unaware that someone was in the home murdering their friends and roommates? There were the initial reports, however.
The victims, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, were killed by a home invader in the very early morning hours on November 13. The women were all roommates, and Chapin was the boyfriend of Kernodle. Kernodle and Chapin were killed on the second floor, and Gonclaves and Mogen were murdered on the third floor. New developments point to the surviving roommates being aware that something might be amiss in their house, with one of them seeing the attacker exit the house after peering out her door upon hearing a clatter in the nearby rooms. The killer walked right past this person—it’s unknown if the murderer knew he had been seen:
The affidavit also explains how authorities keyed in on a white Hyundai Elantra as "Suspect Vehicle 1" after retrieving video footage from roadways around the crime scene and seeing a white sedan eventually identified as an Elantra traveling in atypical patterns compared with normal traffic in the area. They also had footage of the vehicle departing the immediate area around the crime scene and later arriving in nearby Pullman, Washington, on the campus of Washington State University.
In the course of their investigation, authorities put out a BOLO for a White Elantra, which turned up a vehicle matching the description with Pennsylvania license plates registered to Bryan Kohberger, who had an address that matched with the final location of the vehicle tracked on cameras across state lines from the crime scene in Moscow.
When authorities looked up the vehicle owner's license, Kohberger's ID photo on file and physical attributes consistent with the description given by roommate D.M.
The Elantra and its license plate were subsequently picked up by scanners in Loma, Colorado, and Hancock County, Indiana while the murder investigation continued, eventually being seen on surveillance footage in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, with a white male matching Kohberger's description behind the wheel.
Subsequently, investigators located Kohberger's family home in Albrightsville and recovered trash from his family's residence in order to obtain DNA profiles.
Authorities' investigation brought more scrutiny for Kohberger, and several warrants querying cell data from Kohberger's phone were used to trace the phone's — and logically Kohberger's — movements leading up to and on the day the murders occurred.
The data showed that Kohberger's phone was connected to "cellular resources" consistent with him leaving his residence in Pullman, Washington, at 2:47 a.m. and then stop reporting to the network — which happens when a phone loses service, is placed in airplane mode, or is turned off. The next time the phone connected to the network, it was using resources that cover an area south of Moscow, Idaho, at 4:48 a.m. and continuing along a track that led back to Pullman.
Local police were correct in their assumption that the murderer had left the vicinity. Weeks passed before Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested for these ghastly killings. He waived his extradition rights at a hearing in Pennsylvania on January 5, where he now faces four counts of first-degree murder in Idaho. Kohberger was a graduate student at Washington State University, trying to earn his doctorate in criminology. Washington State University is just across the state line, a mere 10 miles from the University of Idaho campus. There is a mountain of incriminating evidence against him, with the latest search warrant executed at his apartment unveiling more evidence against the accused killer (via NBC News):
A pillow with a "reddish/brown stain." A "collection of dark red spotting." A disposable glove. At least a dozen strands of hair.
Those are just some of the items that investigators seized from the apartment of Bryan Kohberger, 28, the former doctoral student charged with killing four University of Idaho students, according to a search warrant released Wednesday.
The warrant was served Dec. 30, the day Kohberger was arrested at his family home in Pennsylvania.
Included in the items taken from Kohberger's apartment in Pullman, Washington, according to the warrant, were a stained mattress cover, a computer tower, various receipts, the dust container from a "Bissell Power Force" vacuum cleaner, a "Fire TV" stick with a cord and plug and what's described as one "possible animal hair strand."
The other hair samples aren't specifically identified as human in the warrant, signed by Washington State University Assistant Police Chief Dawn Daniels. Nor does the document divulge whether any had been tested.
Investigators have said it is likely that the person who killed the four students would have been spattered by blood in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 massacre in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho.
As Spencer noted, we have the DNA evidence, the knife sheath, the video evidence, and the phone records to make this guy beyond a person of interest.