MOSCOW, Idaho – Authorities identified the suspect accused of killing four University of Idaho students late last year after linking him to DNA found on a knife sheath left near two of the victims, according to court records.
In an affidavit released Thursday, Moscow police Cpl. Brett Payne said he found the leather sheath near the bodies of Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, both 21. The college students were among four found slain Nov. 13 at an off-campus home in Moscow.
In a separate room, authorities said they found Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, both 20, dead.
Authorities in Pennsylvania on Friday arrested Bryan Kohberger, 28, on charges of murder and burglary in the killings. He was booked into jail in Idaho’s Latah County around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday after waiving an extradition hearing earlier this week.
Officials said Kohberger has family in Pennsylvania. Authorities in the state recovered trash from his family’s home and got a DNA profile that showed a person in the house was likely the father of the person whose DNA was found on the knife sheath recovered in Idaho, investigators said.
“At least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded from the possibility of being the suspect’s biological father,” Payne wrote in the affidavit.
Cellphone records obtained by officials showed that Kohberger visited the area where the killings took place at least a dozen times between June 2022 and November 2022. He was a Ph.D. student in criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, about a 10-mile drive from Moscow.
In court records, officials said a roommate told investigators that she heard what sounded like Goncalves say something like, “There’s someone here” around 4 a.m. on the day of the killings. The roommate said that she looked outside but didn’t see anything. She told officials that she later opened her door when she heard what sounded like crying from Kernodle’s room.
“(The roommate) then said she heard a male voice say something to the effect of ‘it’s ok, I’m going to help you,’” Payne wrote in the affidavit.
The roommate said she opened her door again when she heard crying and saw “a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her.” The man walked past her as she said she stood frozen in shock.
Authorities said she saw the man walk toward a back sliding glass door and that she locked herself in her room after seeing the figure.
Officials said the two roommates who survived the Nov. 13 attack were not injured. A motive for the killings remained unclear Thursday.
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