(NewsNation) — A suspect was arrested Friday morning in connection with the brutal November stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested in the early hours of Friday in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, where he is being held while awaiting extradition. His detainment is based on an active arrest warrant from Latah County, Idaho, where he faces four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge in connection with the November killings. Court records show he is scheduled for an extradition hearing Tuesday.
On Nov. 13, four University of Idaho students — 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin — were found dead in their Moscow, Idaho rental home near campus.
Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said the factual basis for Kohberger’s charges is laid out in the probable cause affidavit, which under state law must remain sealed until Kohberger is extradited to Latah County and officially served the warrant.
Sources confirmed to NewsNation that Kohberger was on suicide watch in the Pennsylvania jail where he was being held and had asked officers at one point whether anyone else was arrested. Sources said Kohberger has had a “quiet, blank stare” throughout the process.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding the four deaths sparked fear in the small community and nationwide interest from true crime enthusiasts and internet sleuths.
Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Friday during a news conference that his department had combed through 19,000 tips and interviewed 300 people over the course of their investigation.
While police have not yet found the weapon used in the stabbings, Fry said they located a Hyundai Elantra that had previously been named a vehicle of interest in the case, which led to police examining 22,000 cars with similar descriptions during their investigation.
Officials asked that people continue to use the tipline to provide tips now that a suspect has been named. (Scroll to the bottom for tipline information).
Police said Kohberger had an apartment in Pullman, Washington where he is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University. The town is about 10 miles away, across state lines, from Moscow.
The university in a statement said Kohberger completed his first semester there “earlier this month.”
“On behalf of the WSU Pullman community, I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of the law enforcement agencies that have been working tirelessly to solve this crime,” said Elizabeth Chilton, chancellor of the WSU Pullman campus and WSU provost. “This horrific act has shaken everyone in the Palouse region.”
Court records revealed Kohberger had received a minor traffic violation in August in Latah County, where Moscow is located. He paid a fine for that violation in September. While there is no known connection between that violation and the November deaths, it indicates Kohberger had visited the county in the past.
Friday, cleaning crews were at the Moscow home where they were scheduled to clean up the home and remove furniture. Crews were in place and a tarp was set up to block the view of crew activities from the public.
However, Friday morning, NewsNation saw that the work was abruptly stopped at the home, soon after news broke of Kohberg’s arrest. Fry said in the news conference that “house cleanup has been halted and that came by a legal request from the court.”
Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle were roommates and Chapin was in a relationship with Kernodle at the time of their deaths. All four died from stab wounds and were likely asleep at the time of the attack, according to preliminary findings by a county coroner.
Police say there were no signs of forced entry when they arrived to find a bloody and gruesome scene.
“It was a pretty traumatic scene to find four dead college students in a residence,” Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told a local TV station.
If you have information that could be helpful to law enforcement, you can contact them at their Tip Line: 208-883-7180, email email@example.com, or go online to fbi.gov/moscowidaho.
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