MOSCOW, Idaho — Bryan C. Kohberger, the suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students, was found through DNA at the scene and tracing his car movements through video, according to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday morning.
According to the affidavit, police arrived at 1122 King Road around noon after a 911 call was made from inside the home, from one of the roommates' phones. Police discovered Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin dead in Kernodle's room on the second floor of the house. Police went upstairs to a room on the third floor where Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were found in bed, visibly stabbed to death, the affidavit said.
A tan knife sheath was next to Mogen and Goncalves, the affidavit said.
"The sheath was later processed and had 'Ka-Bar,' 'USMC' and the United States Marine Corps eagle globe and anchor insignia stamped on the outside of it. The Idaho state lab later located a single source of male DNA (suspect profile) left on the button snap of the knife sheath," the PCA stated.
More DNA, the affidavit said, was obtained from the trash of Kohberger's family residence in Pennsylvania. Investigators identified a man as "not being excluded" as the biological father of the "suspect profiled" from the DNA. It was compared to the sheath found at the scene.
"At least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded from the possibility of being the suspect's biological father," the affidavit said.
The affidavit, with some redactions, is in the window below. (Mobile users go to this link).
The affidavit said police spoke to the roommates who survived the attack and were in the house at the time, but unharmed. It says the roommate, identified as D.M., heard something coming from Goncalves' room. D.M told police it sounded like she was playing with her dog. Then she heard Goncalves say something like "there's someone here." The other surviving roommate is listed as, "B.F."
The affidavit also said D.M thought she heard crying coming from Kernodle's room.
"D.M. then said she heard a male voice say something to the effect of, 'It's OK, I'm going to help you,'" the affidavit said. This led police to believe the murders occurred between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m., but investigators also confirmed that Kernodle had ordered food from Doordash at 4 a.m. and was likely on the TikTok app until 4:17 a.m.
The affidavit says D.M "opened her door for the third time after she heard the crying and saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person's mouth and nose walking towards her. D.M. described the figure as 5'10 or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows. The male walked past D.M. as she stood in a 'frozen shock phase'. The male walked towards the back sliding glass door," the affidavit said.
D.M then locked herself in her room after seeing the person in her home, the affidavit said, and did not recognize him.
Video canvasses were done as well, in which police found video with a white sedan seen near the home at the time the killings occurred. The white car was "seen departing the area of King Road residence at 4:20 a.m. at a high rate of speed."
Police say surveillance video from numerous sources allowed them to follow the car's movement to the road that leads to Pullman, Washington, home of Washington State University -- where Kohberger is a Ph.D student and teacher's assistant in criminology, according to the WSU website.
Police began investigating what type of car the sedan could be, and concluded it was a white Hyundai Elantra, the affidavit said. Through more video, they found a car matching their description driving through the WSU campus on Nov. 13 around 2:53 a.m., traveling towards Moscow, where the murders later took place, it said.
Then, around 5:27 a.m. on Nov. 13, the car matching the description is seen back in Pullman, the affidavit said.
On Nov. 29, officers found a white Elantra in Pullman, Washington matching the description with a Pennsylvania license plate, the affidavit said. After running the plates, they found records showing Kohberger owned the white Hyundai Elantra, matched his description with the account of D.M's description of the man in her home, and began digging into Kohberger even deeper.
Police later learned Kohberger's phone did not "ping" in the area at the time of the murders, which they said in the affidavit is not uncommon. Police say they found the phone stopped reporting to the network around 2:47 a.m.
"This is done by subjects in an effort to avoid alerting law enforcement that a cellular device associated with them was in a particular area where a crime is committed," the affidavit said.
Police say the phone was also found near the King Road residence some time beginning Aug. 21.
The affidavit says after looking through the phone's history, it appeared that Kohberger visited the area of the King Road house a dozen times over several months leading up to the night of the murders. Also, it states the phone was near the King Road house around 9 a.m. on Nov. 13.
Police also found Reddit postings of Kohberger, asking how people commit crimes and their thought processes after committing crimes. In the affidavit, they said Kohberger had applied for the Pullman Police Department, and "wrote in his essay he had interest in assisting rural law enforcement agencies with how to better collect and analyze technological data in public safety operations."
On Dec. 28, police say they matched their unknown suspect's DNA from the sheath to their suspect's biological father -- and concluded they now had enough probable cause to arrest Kohberger.
Kohberger was arrested on Dec. 30 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. He was booked into the Latah County Jail the night of Wednesday, Jan. 4, after a cross-country flight in a Pennsylvania State Police airplane. After his arrest in Pennsylvania, Kohberg waived extradition, allowing him to be turned over to authorities in Idaho to face the murder charges.
He is charged with four counts of murder and one count of burglary with intent to commit murder.
Kohberger appeared in court Thursday morning where the charges were read. He nodded to the judge that he understood what she was saying and only replied, "yes."
The judge issued a no-contact order preventing Kohberger from ever contacting the families of the victims in this case for two years. A status conference will be held Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. in Latah County. No bond was set.
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