Authorities said on Friday that a criminology graduate student from Washington State University was arrested in Pennsylvania and charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students more than six weeks ago.
According to James Fry, chief of police in Moscow, Idaho, where the University of Idaho campus is located, police acting on a fugitive arrest warrant apprehended Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, on Thursday night. Fry stated that Kohberger lives in Pennsylvania.
Kohberger was arraigned in eastern Pennsylvania and remained jailed without bond pending a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether he will waive extradition and return voluntarily to Idaho to face charges, Latah County, Idaho, prosecutor Bill Thompson told reporters.
The suspect is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary in connection with the deaths of the four undergraduate students, according to Thompson. Fear has gripped the small college town since the victims, three women and a man, were discovered slain in an off-campus house where they had spent the night on Nov. 13.
“This investigation is not yet complete. In fact, it is a fresh start “Thompson stated at a press conference.
Fry identified the victims as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho. According to Fry, some of the bodies had defensive wounds, indicating that they had attempted to fend off their attacker.
According to the police chief, one of the two surviving roommates used his cellphone to call 911 to report the crime.
According to police, the victims appeared to have been killed with a knife or other “edged” weapon. The murder weapon, according to Fry, has not been recovered, but police have discovered a car they were looking for in connection with the killings.
Kohberger was a graduate student at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington, about 10 miles from the University of Idaho campus, according to authorities. On the WSU website, he was listed as a student in the criminal justice and criminology department.
Over the last six weeks, Moscow, a town of 25,000 people in the neighboring panhandle of northwest Idaho, has been shaken as state and local police and the FBI worked to solve the crime.
When asked at a press conference if authorities in Moscow were looking for more suspects, Fry said, “We have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes, and I do believe our community is safe.”
Fry stated that his department received over 19,000 public tips and conducted over 300 interviews as part of its investigation. He and Thompson urged anyone with information about the accused murderer to come forward.
He refused to speculate on a possible motive for the crime or provide any details about the investigation, such as how authorities tracked Kohberger down to Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, a small town in the Pocono Mountains resort region about 90 miles north of Philadelphia, where he was apprehended.
Thompson stated that more information would be made public from a probable-cause affidavit, which summarizes the factual basis for the charges but remains under court seal until the suspect returns to Idaho to be served with his arrest warrant.