Case against suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students gains momentum as trial date looms


Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students, after his arrest.

The case against suspect Bryan Kohberger for the murder of four University of Idaho students in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022, at their off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho, continues to grow. 

The four victims, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylle Goncalves, were described by their family and friends as “incredible” and “beautiful” beings, but what made them victims?

Just hours before the incident, two of the four students, Mogen and Goncalves, were seen returning home at about 1:45 a.m. after visiting a nearby food truck. At roughly the same time as Mogen and Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin – who did not live there but was over with his girlfriend – were seen coming home from a friend’s home.

From around 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., the four victims were stabbed to death with a fixed-blade knife. As they gathered information, authorities began to suspect that the four victims had a “stalker” before the attack.

Following the murder, speculations spread throughout social media surrounding whether others heard noises coming from upstairs, where the suspect was located. Additional information did not reveal if other residents heard noises, further complicating the investigation for the authorities.

Fear spread throughout the community, as authorities faced an unexpected murderer in the relatively crime free town of Moscow.. Detectives focused their investigations on a white sedan that was spotted in camera footage around the area of the crime. Days later, a body camera from a police officer was released with a video of Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student at nearby Washington State University, and his father being pulled over on December 15 in a vehicle matching the description of the one in the camera footage near the crime scene.

Further investigation into Kohberger enabled police to gather enough evidence to tie him to the murders and obtain an arrest warrant which they executed after tracking him down at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania on December 30. 

Kohberger made a court appearance on Jan. 5, giving family and friends of the murder victims their first opportunity to see the suspect in person. At that hearing Kohberger waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. The judge set that hearing for June 26, where prosecutors will present evidence and witnesses in an effort to convince the judge to hold Kohberger over for trial. He is currently being held without bail. 

Meanwhile, the authorities continue to build their case against Kohberger. After additional investigation, new information came out, including predictions of the possible path the suspect took throughout the house and extra information from other roommates who were present at the time of the murder. “ [I] saw a figure dressed in all black inside [our] house,” stated an affidavit read in court by Dylan Mortensen.

Authorities have also discovered additional evidence tying Kohberger to the murders, including finding one of the victim’s ID at Kohberger’s residence, cell phone tracing data, photos of one of the female victims on Kohberger’s cell phone, and additional DNA evidence to support their case.c