The Arrest of Bryan Kohberger

Story posted January 27, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Haley Jacobs

MOSCOW, Idaho — 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was arrested on Friday, Dec. 30 in his home state of Pennsylvania for the stabbing deaths of four college students at the University of Idaho. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary for the Nov. 13 stabbings.

Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 were the victims in the stabbings in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho. Chapin was not a resident in the home but was staying the night with his girlfriend Kernodle. Two other roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, were home and unharmed.

But who is Bryan Kohberger? This is what we know.

Kohberger is a Ph.D. student studying criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University. The campus is in Pullman, Washington, around 10 miles west of the house where the students were stabbed. He is originally from eastern Pennsylvania.

He was also an assistant instructor for three undergraduate criminal justice courses this past fall semester.

Authorities believed an Instagram account that belonged to Kohberger followed the three victims of the attack. It hasn’t been released whether the victims knew the suspect, but People magazine claimed Kohberger reached out to one of the female victims on Instagram via direct message.

Kohberger has shown no criminal history besides an August 2022 infraction for failing to wear a seat belt in Latah County.

His family has stated that these allegations are out of character for their son, and they remain supportive of him.

What evidence led investigators to Kohberger?

The night of the stabbings, a sedan was seen on Washington State University surveillance cameras traveling away from campus. At 3:20 a.m., there was video of the vehicle in the King Road neighborhood, where it made multiple passes between then and 4:04 a.m. Dylan Mortensen heard crying and opened her door, where she saw a man with bushy eyebrows dressed in all black with a mask over his nose and mouth. She locked herself in her room. The vehicle was seen leaving the area around 4:20 a.m.

On November 18, Kohberger changed the registration of his white Elantra from Pennsylvania plates to Washington state license plates.

Nov. 29, a WSU police officer discovers that Bryan Kohberger is the registered owner of a 2015 white Elantra with a Pennsylvania license plate. The officer finds Kohberger’s driver’s license and realizes he matches the roommate’s description of the masked man.

On Dec. 15, Kohberger was traveling to Pennsylvania with his father when he was stopped twice by law enforcement. They were let go with warnings both times.

Officials obtained a warrant to search his phone records. The phone was in Pullman at 2:42 a.m. on Nov. 13, but was shut off and not connected again until 4:48 a.m.

Authorities in Pennsylvania recovered trash from his family’s residence on December 27, and it was sent to Idaho State Lab for testing.

The next day, the DNA on the trash was compared to the DNA on the knife sheath found at the murder scene, and it was a match to the biological father of the suspect.

With the evidence gathered, law enforcement was able to secure an arrest warrant for Kohberger. He was taken into custody early in the morning by the Pennsylvania State Police on Dec. 29. He agreed to waive extradition into Idaho to face charges.

Kohberger is now held in Latah County Jail and is set a preliminary hearing date for 11 a.m. on June 26.

Haley Jacobs is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email