December 30, 2022
-New York Post
A 28-year-old suspect was taken into custody in connection with the slayings of four University of Idaho students on Friday morning.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested by police and the FBI around 3 a.m. in Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to reports.
Kohberger, who briefly appeared in court Friday morning, appears to have been pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice at Washington State University in Pullman, less than 10 miles from Moscow, where the killings took place.
Following the pre-dawn police raid, a car matching the description of the white Hyundai Elantra authorities have said they were looking for in connection to the murders was also seized.
News of the arrest comes almost seven weeks after Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were found stabbed to death in their beds at their off-campus home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13.
Two other roommates were also home at the time of the killings, but were left unharmed.
Local police have been joined by the FBI and state police in a huge investigation to find the killer and had combed through some 20,000 tips and collected thousands of pieces of evidence in relation to the grisly murders.
Law enforcement sources described the bloody crime scene as “the worst they’ve seen” and photos showed blood oozing down the side of the building.
Moscow police and the University of Idaho are set to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. PT Friday to announce more details, and did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the arrest.
The vicious slayings — which saw each of the victims disturbed in their sleep, then stabbed multiple times in their chest area — have dominated headlines for several weeks, with experts and amateurs alike speculating on possible motives and suspects.
Best friends Goncalves and Mogen, who met in the sixth grade, were last seen on surveillance footage at Moscow’s Corner Club just hours before the stabbings. They subsequently stopped at a food truck before returning to their rented home before 2 a.m. Kernodle and Chapin had been at a party at the nearby Sigma Chi fraternity house and had arrived home shortly before.
Police say the four students were murdered sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. but were not discovered by roommates Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke until much later that morning. Mortensen and Funke had become worried when they could not reach their friends and called police, who made the grim discovery.
Amid criticism over a supposed lack of progress, Moscow Police Chief James Fry previously told the press that any information was useful to his department and urged people to come forward. “Whether you believe it is significant or not, your information might be one of the puzzle pieces that help solve these murders,” he said.
As of this week, police were also continuing their search for a white 2011-13 Hyundai Elantra that was believed to have been in the area at the time of the murders. According to investigators, the occupant of the correct car may have “critical information” related to the case, but as of Friday morning, there was no confirmation whether the suspect in custody was connected to the vehicle.
Despite the slow pace of the investigation, Mogen’s father, Ben Mogen, told the Spokesman-Review he was hopeful that justice would be served. “From the very beginning, I’ve known people don’t get away with these things these days. There’s too many things that you can get caught up on, like DNA and videos everywhere,” the grieving dad said.
The murders, which took place the week before Thanksgiving, shook the campus in the small city of 25,000 along the border of Washington state.
Chapin was a freshman majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management originally from Mount Vernon, Washington, according to the university. Kernodle had been a junior marketing major and was a Post Falls, Idaho, native.
Goncalves was a senior majoring in general studies from Rathdrum, Idaho, and Mogen was a senior majoring in marketing from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
A chilling photo posted on Instagram hours before the murders showed the four roommates together, smiling, with Mogen on Goncalves’ shoulders.
“One lucky girl to be surrounded by these people every day,” Goncalves wrote.