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Suspect in Deaths of Idaho University Students Has Been Charged with Four Counts of Murder, Police Say


The suspect in the brutal November slayings of four university students in Idaho has been taken into custody in Pennsylvania and is facing four charges of first degree murder.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, on a murder warrant, Moscow Chief of Police James Fry said at a press conference on Friday. Kohberger is awaiting extradition and has a hearing scheduled Tuesday in Pennsylvania.

“These murders have shaken our community and no arrest will ever bring back these young students,” Ray said. “However, we do believe justice will be served through the judicial process.”

Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson said that Friday was both a “sad day and a happy day” as he confirmed that Kohberger faces four counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Xana Kernodle, her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, and Kernodle’s roommates Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves. The four friends were stabbed to death on Nov. 13 while sleeping in a Moscow home.

Thompson said that Kohberger has also been charged with felony burglary for entering a residence with the intent to commit the crime of murder.

The prosecutor said that no additional details would be revealed until after Kohberger is extradited to Idaho. Under Idaho law, the probable cause affidavit, which forms the factual basis for Kohberger’s arrest, must remain sealed until Kohberger has made his first court appearance in Latah County. He added that he expects the affidavit will be unsealed at that time and reveal the “true facts” behind the investigation.

Officials confirmed that Kohberger was a graduate student at Washington State University, which is located about 8 miles from Moscow.

Police were relatively tight-lipped about the details of the investigation and what ultimately led them to Kohberger, insisting that the investigation is ongoing but certain that the information will eventually come out.

“We have an individual in custody who committed these crimes,” Ray said when asked if the local community is safe after Kohberger’s arrest. “I do believe our community is safe but we still need to be vigilant … we always need to be aware of our surroundings and make sure we’re aware of what’s going on.”

Ray, who said that police had received more than 19,000 tips in the case, asked that people continue to provide whatever information they could by calling the tip line.

Ray also confirmed that the murder weapon has not yet been found.

News of the arrest of a suspect in the case leaked late Friday morning. Law&Crime’s Angenette Levy had previously confirmed with sources close to the case that Kohberger had been charged in connection with the students’ deaths and that he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

A filing with the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, Penn., shows that Kohberger was denied bail and ordered to be extradited to Idaho. The document is silent on the nature of the allegations against him, but the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to Law&Crime that he was arraigned on “fugitive from justice” charges. Idaho authorities confirmed that a warrant from a magistrate judge in Idaho similarly calls for Kohberger to be held without bond.

The Monroe County DA’s office also confirmed that an extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 3:30 p.m. local time. According to prosecutors, Kohberger has links to Monroe County, including an “originating address” where he was arrested.

Fox News had reported that a man in his mid 20s was taken into custody by local police and the FBI at 3 a.m. in Scranton on Friday.

The arrest could mark a significant advancement in the investigation of in the violent stabbing deaths of the four students, who were stabbed to death as they slept in their Moscow house on Nov. 13.

Chapin and Kernodle were at a Sigma Chi fraternity party between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the night of Nov. 12, 2022, the Idaho State Police (ISP) said. Goncalves and Mogen were at bar in downtown Moscow called the Corner Club between 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. that night.

At around 1:40 a.m., Goncalves and Mogen went to a mac and cheese food truck called Grub Truck, the ISP said, citing a Twitch stream showing both young women there, ordering food and in good spirits.

By roughly 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2022, all four students were back at the three-story home they shared with two other roommates. Shortly after the killings, Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told a local TV station, without elaborating, that some of the students were killed in their beds and some were “likely” asleep when stabbed to death.

The Moscow Police Department scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. According to a press release, Police Chief James Fry said he would give an update on the investigation, along with other state and local law enforcement.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with confirmation of Kohberger’s arrest and murder charges.

Angenette Levy and Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

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