Criminologist grad student hits with four counts of first-degree murders
MOSCOW, Idaho – Bryan Christopher Kohberger was charged with four counts of murder and felony burglary for allegedly stabbing to death four University of Idaho student in an off-campus rental home, officials announced Friday at a press conference.
Kohberger was arrested Friday morning in eastern Pennsylvania for the grisly Nov. 13 slayings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.
“These murders have shaken our community, and no arrest will ever bring back these young students,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry told reporters, as he appeared to choke back tears.
“What I can tell you is we have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes and I do believe our community is safe,” he said when asked if police are searching for additional suspects.
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Kohberger is a PhD student at the department of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington – about eight miles from the King Road home where the students were slaughtered.
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The Moscow Police Department, the Idaho State Police and the FBI have been working tirelessly for nearly seven weeks to track down the killer as the public and victims’ families have scrutinized the investigation.
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Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said a criminal complaint was filed Thursday charging Kohberger with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary, “which involves entering the residence with the intent to commit the crime of murder.”
The probable cause affidavit outlining details of the crime will remain sealed until Kohberger is extradited back to Latah County and served with the Idaho arrest warrant in compliance with the law, Thompson said.
Kohberger made his initial appearance in front of a judge in Monroe County Court Friday morning in Pennsylvania and is being held without bond.
He’s due back in court there Tuesday afternoon and will be represented by a public defender, Thompson added.
Police executed a search warrant on Kohberger’s Pullman apartment Friday.
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In recent weeks the probe has focused on a white 2011 to 2013 Hyundai Elantra spotted near the crime scene around the time of the murders.
Fry said police had recovered an Elantra but did not elaborate. NBC reported that an Elantra was removed from the property where Kohberger had been arrested.
Police are still searching for the murder weapon. The police chief declined to answer questions on when the investigation zeroed in on Kohberger or the specific evidence that allegedly ties him to the crime.
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Fry said the investigation is far from over and urged the public to continue submitting tips.
“We are still trying to build that picture,” he said. “We’re putting all the pieces together and that will help.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 208-883-7180 or [email protected]