After six weeks of investigation, authorities arrested graduate student Bryan Kohberger on December 30 in the stabbing murders of four University of Idaho students—here’s what we know about the investigation into him, and his actions since the murder occurred.
Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an … [+] extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
November 13Security camera footage shows a person believed to be Kohberger approaching the home the murders took place at in a car, later identified to be a white Hyundai Elantra, several times starting around 3:30 a.m., before speeding away toward Washington State University at roughly 4:20 a.m., according to a police affidavit unsealed on January 5.
November 13Four University of Idaho students—Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen—are stabbed to death in the middle of the night at the girls’ off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, and are believed to have been killed after 4 a.m.; Two other roommates in the house at the time are not harmed, and one tells police she interacted with a man wearing a mask who then escaped the home around the time the murders took place.
November 13 When officers arrive at the home, they discover a tan leather knife sheath near one of the bodies, which had DNA on it, as well as a shoe print, according to the affidavit.
November 15The Moscow Police Department says “investigators believe this was an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large,” adding that they are looking for a murder weapon—believed to be a knife—and do not yet have a suspect in custody.
November 16In the police department’s first press conference about the murders, the Moscow Police Chief James Fry recants his team’s previous statement, saying “we cannot say there is no threat to the community;” Fry also says the FBI is one of the agencies working on the case.
After November 13After the murders occurred, graduate student Bryan Kohberger—who has not yet been publicly identified as a suspect in this case—still attends classes for his Ph.D. studies in criminology at Washington State University, roughly 15 minutes from where the murders occurred, students told the New York Times; One student in a class in which Kohberger was a teacher’s assistant told CNN Kohberger’s demeanor changes after the crime occurs, saying he seemed “preoccupied” and was grading easier.
November 18Kohberger registers his 2015 Hyundai Elantra with a new license plate number, according to the police affidavit.
November 29After being asked to look for a car on campus matching that make and model, officers discover a similar car belonging to Kohberger at WSU, and learn his identity matches that which was described by the surviving roommate who saw the suspect.
December 7Police ask for the public’s help in identifying the owner of a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra, which was seen near the house where the murders occurred early in the day of November 13, saying “investigators believe the occupant(s) of this vehicle may have critical information to share regarding this case.”
Mid December Kohberger travels by car in a white Hyundai Elantra from nearby Washington to his parent’s home in Pennsylvania on a pre-planned road trip with his father; At some point on this journey, authorities begin tracking him, a law enforcement source told CNN.
December 13Kohberger’s new license plate is captured on the Hyundai Elantra in Loma, Colorado.
December 15Kohberger is pulled over twice while driving through Indiana, first by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for following too closely, and nine minutes later by the Indiana State Police for the same reason, and he was let go with a warning both times; Both groups said they did not know Kohberger was a suspect in the murders at the time, however law enforcement sources told Fox News the FBI directed the pull-overs, seeking video of Kohberger and images of his hands.
December 17Kohberger arrives in Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with his family around this date, his court-appointed extradition lawyer Jason LaBar told CNN.
December 23Officers are granted a search warrant to track Kohberger’s phone; GPS data on the night of the murders was not available from roughly 2:45 a.m. to around 4:45 a.m., when it was captured traveling from Idaho to Pullman, Washington, where WSU is located; Police say the phone’s location is consistent with that of the white Elantra, and they believe Kohberger turned his phone off to conceal his location, according to the affidavit.
December 23The search warrant also reveals Kohberger visited the home where murders took place at least 12 times before November 13, all late at night or early in the morning.
December 26An FBI surveillance team begins tracking Kohberger, while law enforcement and prosecutors work to gain a probable cause warrant for his arrest, law enforcement sources told CNN.
December 27Agents recover trash from the Kohberger family home in Pennsylvania, and sent it to a lab for testing.
December 28The Idaho state lab determines the DNA from the trash matches that found on the sheath discovered at the scene of the crime.
December 30Kohberger is arrested at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, around 2 a.m., on four counts of first degree murder and one count of felony burglary, and officers seize a 2015 white Hyundai Elantra; He initially waives his Miranda rights and speaks to law enforcement for no more than 15 minutes before asking for a lawyer, LaBar told Law&Crime.
December 30Steve Goncalves, the father of victim Kaylee Goncalves, says that his family has noticed connections between Kohberger and his daughter, which they are not ready to discuss.
December 31CNN reports the investigation turned towards Kohberger using DNA evidence and a public DNA database, and by identifying him as the owner of the car.
January 3Kohberger agrees to be extradited to Idaho at a court hearing in Pennsylvania; Authorities say he will arrive in the state within 10 days, and details of his transportation will not be shared for security reasons.
January 4Kohberger leaves Monroe County Correctional Facility in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, flies by plane with Pennsylvania State Police to Pullman, Washington, and is driven to Idaho as part of a five-vehicle caravan, according to NBC News; He is booked at the Latah County jail.
January 5Kohberger appears in court, as documents relating to his arrest are unsealed.
Kohberger has not yet submitted a plea, but LaBar said “he’s looking forward to being exonerated. Those were his words.”
It’s still unclear why Kohberger allegedly targeted the household and its residents.
The gruesome attacks captured the attention of the small town of Moscow, which hasn’t seen a murder in seven years, and the nation, as officials stayed mum about potential suspects or leads. Police said they received thousands of tips relating to the case, and investigated them to rule out the surviving roommates and other people the victims interacted with the night before they died. A murder weapon, believed to be a knife, has still not been discovered. On Tuesday, Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a gag order on investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and prosecutors and the defense team concerning the case.
Police said they investigated a claim that Kaylee Goncalves told family and friends she had a stalker, though they could not identify such an individual. They revealed that in October, a man followed her throughout a business and as she walked to her car, and this may have been the stalker she referred to. However, they said this was an isolated incident and as of December, there was no evidence this man was connected to the murders.