Image: Daniel V. Ramirez/ Argonaut

Graduate student charged with University of Idaho quadruple murder

An arrest has been made in connection to the murder of four University of Idaho students in their own beds.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, aged 28, was arrested in Pennsylvania more than 2500 miles from the crime scene. The suspect is a graduate student studying criminal justice and criminology at the nearby Washington State University (WSU). WSU is situated around 8 miles from Moscow, ID where the murders took place.

He has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary.

Maddison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death in the early hours of 13 December 2022.

The penalty for first-degree murder in Idaho is death or imprisonment for life. The penalty for burglary is a prison sentence of between one and 10 years.

CNN has reported that the suspect was tracked for four days by an FBI surveillance team from the Bureau’s Philadelphia field office. CBS News has reported that the suspect was found at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, PA.

James Fry, Chief of the Moscow Police Department (Moscow PD), told a press conference that a white Hyundai Elantra, a small family car, had been seized from the property where the suspect was arrested. It had been announced earlier in December that police were searching for such a vehicle.

Investigators received 19,000 tips from the public over the course of their investigation, examining 4,000 photographs, and 113 pieces of physical evidence alongside conducting 113 interviews.

The full details of the events leading to Kohberger’s arrest will not become public until the ‘Probable Cause Affidavit’, which led to the charges against him being filed, is made available. This will not happen until he appears in front of an Idaho court.

Should Kohberger choose not to waive extradition and return to Idaho voluntarily, a court hearing in Pennsylvania to determine whether to extradite him to Idaho will occur on January 3 2023.

The murders have caused a great deal of distress in the small town of Moscow, ID, where 44% of its population of 25,000 are students.

A University of Idaho student had previously told The Boar: “A few of my friends had left early in the week before thanksgiving and those who couldn’t like myself anxiously waited for our chance to leave”.

This appears to have been largely reflective of the student population at the university, with nearly half of students choosing to continue their studies online for the remainder of the semester.

Scott Green, President of the University of Idaho, described the news of an arrest as: “A welcome one, it’s a relief to our university, our community, and our extended Vandal family.”

Since the murders, the University of Idaho has decided to offer classes in self-defence, vigilance, stalking awareness, and healthy relationships. The university will also distribute ‘personal safety devices’ to its students.

Moscow PD had received some criticism in the US media for the way in which information relating to the case was communicated. It is claimed much information was kept away from the public in a manner closer to the way high-profile police investigations are handled in the UK.


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