MOSCOW, Idaho — After weeks of unease over the murders of four University of Idaho students at a home near campus, officials this week released their most detailed description of the investigation that led them to arrest a crime student at a nearby university. Had to do
The documents contain a wide array of evidence concerning Brian Kohberger, 28, a Washington State University graduate student who said through an attorney that he looks forward to being acquitted. The records also provided new details about the night the four students were murdered, while raising new questions about a mysterious case in which authorities have not ruled out a possible motive.
Here are the 10 key revelations made public on Thursday.
A roommate saw a masked man.
Investigators previously suggested that two roommates who were inside the home the night of the crime and were not attacked were asleep. But records show that one of them woke up around 4 am to a noise, a man’s voice and cries. This was also the time authorities believed the murders to have taken place.
According to the record, that roommate eventually saw from his room as a man in black with a face mask walked toward the back door of the house. She reported closing her own bedroom door at that point, but what happened afterward is unclear from the record.
Officers were not called to the scene for more than seven hours.
Investigators found a knife casing at the scene.
Investigators said that on the upstairs bed where two of the victims — Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves — were found dead, they found a brown leather knife sheath.
Police said they were able to obtain a DNA sample from a button snap on the sheath, and later found a connection between that sample and DNA collected from Mr Kohberger’s parents’ home in Pennsylvania.
This could prove to be a vital piece of evidence, as authorities seek to link Mr. Kohberger to the scene of the crime.
What to Know About the Idaho College Murders
The suspect had applied to work for the local police department.
Mr. Kohberger had long taken an interest in criminology and criminal law.
He studied in Pennsylvania under Katherine Ramsland, a forensic psychologist whose books include “The Mind of a Murderer” and “How to Catch a Killer.” He researched the psychology of criminals when they commit crimes.
At Washington State University, he was pursuing a PhD, engaging in a class on DNA evidence and forensics in the weeks before the murders, while continuing to grade papers in the weeks following.
Officials also disclosed that Mr. Kohberger had in recent months applied for an internship with the police department in Pullman, Wash., which is less than 10 miles from the University of Idaho campus in Moscow. He wrote an essay as part of the application describing his interest in helping rural police departments collect and analyze data.
A car passed by the victim’s house several times.
Investigators said that on the night of the murders, a white car could be seen in surveillance footage repeatedly passing the dead street where the victims lived.
Police said the vehicle, said to be a Hyundai Elantra, began appearing at 3:29 a.m., passing through the area three times, before returning for the fourth time at 4:04 a.m., around the time the surviving roommate was found was awakened and he believes the police to have committed murders. Police said the vehicle could be seen speeding away from the area at 4:20 am
A dog is barking in the audio.
Investigators said that at approximately 4:17 p.m., a security camera near the victims’ home picked up distorted audio resembling a rumbling and rumbling sound. He also said that a dog can be heard barking several times.
After learning of the murders, when police officers arrived at the house they found a dog in one of the rooms. The dog belonged to one of the victims, Kaylee Gonsalves.
One of the victims may have been awake.
While the coroner has said that all four victims were probably asleep at the time of the murders, investigators suggested in new court records that at least one of them may have been awake.
Investigators said Xana Kernodle received a DoorDash delivery around 4 a.m., just before the white vehicle arrived. Forensic review of her phone also revealed that she was using the TikTok app at around 4:12 am
A campus official found Kohberger’s car.
With surveillance video in hand, police began scouring the area for white Hyundai Elantras, and a Washington State University campus police officer found one registered to Mr. Kohberger in November.
Investigators said they reviewed images of Mr Kohberger and found his physical appearance matched the recollection of a roommate who had seen a man in the home, including his height, build and thick eyebrows.
Police initially said they were looking for a 2011-13 Elantra, but later learned it may also be from a later 2016 model year. Mr. Kohberger had a 2015 Elantra.
Kohberger’s phone was disconnected during the murders.
By late December, investigators were able to obtain the location records of Mr. Kohberger’s cellphone.
According to the police affidavit, records show that he had visited the neighborhood of the crime scene 12 times before the night of the murder. On the night of the murders, his phone was in Pullman at 2:47 a.m., but then disconnected from the cell network.
The phone reconnected to the network at 4:48 a.m. at a location miles south of the University of Idaho. The phone eventually went back to Pullman.
Police estimate that the suspect may have returned to the crime scene.
According to police records, several hours after the murders, at about 9:12 p.m., Mr. Kohberger’s phone was traced to Moscow, connected to the cellular network near the scene of the murder, and had been there for nine minutes.
The phones then returned to their home territory in Pullman. No one had called 911 that morning, so the police had not yet gone to the crime scene.
A DNA sample was taken from a trash can in Pennsylvania.
In the days after obtaining Mr. Kohberger’s phone records, investigators were in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Kohberger had driven for the holidays with his father.
Agents there recovered the trash from Mr. Kohberger’s family home and shipped it to Idaho. Investigators said they worked to match a DNA profile found in the garbage to a DNA sample collected from a knife sheath found at the crime scene. Analysis indicated, police said, that the elderly Mr. Kohberger was the father of the man who left the DNA on the knife sheath.
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