Murder of Idaho student suspected in custody
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania –
A suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students has been arrested in eastern Pennsylvania, a law enforcement official said Friday.
Arrest documents filed by Pennsylvania State Police in Monroe County Court said 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger was being held for extradition in connection with a criminal homicide investigation at the base. of an active arrest warrant for first degree murder issued by the Moscow Police Department and the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office.
A law enforcement official confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as they could not publicly discuss details of the investigation until an official announcement expected later Friday.
The students — Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin — were stabbed to death in a rental house near campus in the early morning hours of November 13. The murders initially mystified law enforcement, with investigators unable to name a suspect or locate a murder weapon for weeks.
But the case broke after law enforcement asked the public to help them find a white sedan seen near the house at the time of the murders. The Moscow Police Department made the request on December 7, and the next day had to direct the tips to a special FBI call center, because there were so many of them.
Gonçalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash., were members of the university’s Greek system and close friends. Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle lived in the three-story rental house with two other roommates. Kernodle and Chapin were dating and he was visiting the house that evening.
Autopsies showed that all four were probably asleep when they were attacked. Some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There were no signs of a sexual assault, police said.
The stabbing deaths rocked the small town of Moscow, Idaho, a farming community of about 25,000 people — including about 11,000 students — nestled in the hills of northern Idaho’s Palouse region. .
The case also attracted online sleuths who speculated about potential suspects and motives. At the start of the investigation, the police released relatively few details publicly.
Fear of a repeat attack prompted nearly half of University of Idaho students to switch to online classes for the rest of the semester, abandoning dorms and apartments in the normally bucolic city for perceived safety from their hometowns. Security concerns also caused the university to hire an additional security company to escort students around campus, and the Idaho State Police sent in troops to help patrol city streets.
Monroe County is located in eastern Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains. The county seat, Stroudsburg, is about 100 miles (161 km) north of Philadelphia.