Quadruple Homicide in Moscow, Idaho
In late November 2022, investigators began frantically searching for a suspect once the news first broke about a quadruple homicide in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho. Investigators conducted several interviews including some with the two surviving roommates. Law enforcement was able to piece together a timeline and determined that the murders likely occurred between 4:00am and 4:25am. Without any leads, the local police conducted a video canvass of the area surrounding the crime scene. They pulled footage from security cameras located at nearby businesses and some residences. From this footage, investigators discovered a suspicious vehicle in the area of the crime scene at the same time they suspected the murders occurred.
Criminal Investigation Continues
Investigators did not have a clear image of the suspect vehicle so they provided various video recordings to forensic examiners. After reviewing the images, examiners were able to narrow the make and model of the vehicle to a 2011-2016 Hyundai Elantra. Further, security footage obtained near the crime scene indicated the suspect vehicle may have been traveling toward Pullman, Washington (another college town 10 miles west of Moscow). Investigators then obtained security footage from Washington State University (WSU) where the suspect vehicle was seen once again. After receiving a request to be on the lookout for a white Hyundai Elantra, a Washington State University Police Officer queried vehicles matching the description that were registered at WSU. This returned a 2015 white Elantra registered to a Bryan Kohberger.
Murder Suspect Identified
Now armed with the name of their chief suspect, investigators began searching for more evidence tying Kohberger to the homicides. First, they obtained cell phone records from Kohberger’s cell carrier. A narrow search of the timeframe around the murders did not reveal Kohberger’s phone in the area of the crime scene. In fact, it appeared the phone had been turned off during this time. Investigators then asked the court to approve a more extensive search of Kohberger’s phone records to determine whether he had been in the area in the days leading up to the murders. This search revealed 12 instances where Koherger was in the area of the crime scene, 11 of which occurred in the late evening to early morning hours.
After investigators were able to locate Kohberger in Pennsylvania, local law enforcement went through his trash and sent it back to Idaho to be examined. The Idaho State Lab compared DNA samples that were found in Kohberger’s garbage with a sample taken from a sheath found at the crime scene. These test results indicated the DNA profile taken from the trash was a match to the sample found on the sheath (not excluding the biological father of the suspect profile).
Arrest Warrant Issued & Homicide Suspect Arrested
This evidence, combined with other information regarding the suspects background and education, was enough for the judge to issue an arrest warrant. Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania and waived an extradition hearing, and he will be returned to Idaho to face multiple murder charges. As of yet, no motive for the murders exists. However, it is interesting to note that the suspect attends Washington State University in pursuit of a graduate degree in criminal justice.