What We Still Don’t Know About Idaho College Student Murders Suspect – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) – Three days later the arrest of a suspect in the fatal stabbing of four University of Idaho studentsauthorities have yet to release important details in the case, from whether the suspect knew the victims, what his alleged motive might have been, and what ultimately led to his arrest.

The arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger28, came just under seven weeks later Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20were found dead in a home off campus on November 13.

The killings rocked the college city of Moscow, Idaho, which had not seen a homicide in seven years, as some in the community were frustrated with the limited information authorities shared over the course of their investigation.

This is partly due to state laws restricting what information authorities can release before the suspect first appears in court, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said on Friday. the day authorities announced Kohberger’s arrest in his home state of Pennsylvania.

And the probable cause affidavit — the legal document used to justify Kohberger’s arrest and obtain a warrant for his arrest — will remain sealed until he is brought back to Idaho, where he will face four counts of first-degree murder as well as a burglary charge is facing, according to Latah County. Idaho, prosecutors.

This document “is going to tell us a lot,” said CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson. “It will address the question of probable cause – why is he arrested, what is the justification for detaining him and taking action against him from a law enforcement perspective.”

Kohberger has to appear in court on Tuesday if his lawyer has indicated that the suspect would waive extradition. The top public defender for Monroe County, Pennsylvania, expected Kohberger to be returned to Idaho within 72 hours of Tuesday’s hearing, the attorney said.

Kohberger’s parents and two sisters plan to attend Tuesday’s hearing, public defender Jason LaBar told CNN on Monday. You are not allowed to visit him while you are there.

Until then, here are some of the key details that remain unknown.

The suspect’s relationship with the victims

Authorities have not said publicly whether Kohberger knew any of the victims, who were found dead all hours after a Saturday night: Chapin and Kernodle had attended a party on campus earlier that night. said the policewhile Mogen and Goncalves went to a downtown bar before ordering food at a late-night food truck.

Kohberger lived in the area, Fry indicated Friday: He was a graduate student in the criminal justice program at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, about 15 minutes’ drive west of Moscow.

Kohberger was a graduate student in the Washington State University school confirmed in a statement Last week, the addition of the school’s police department helped Idaho law enforcement execute search warrants at Kohberger’s campus home and office.

There was also law enforcement activity Friday at an apartment complex in Pullman where graduate students live, a CNN team observed.

Meanwhile, DNA played a role in the investigation, sources have told CNN.

Investigators partially focused on Kohberger as a suspect after his DNA was matched to genetic material found in the home where the students were killed, said two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

Genetic genealogy techniques were used to link Kohberger to unidentified DNA evidence, a source with knowledge of the case told CNN. The DNA was run through a public database to find potential family members, and subsequent investigative work by law enforcement led to his identification as a suspect, the source said.

Information about Kohberger’s DNA and any past relationship with the victims are both important pieces of evidence, Jackson told CNN on Monday.

“No. 1: I’m looking for DNA,” he said. “Was his DNA (in the apartment)? … Is there a reason to explain the DNA, is there a basis for knowing or understanding why he was there.” would be?”

“Which leads me to #2,” Jackson said, “Is there a pre-existing relationship? did he know her If so, how?”

Victims’ families and law enforcement will “go back and see if there is any connection between any of the victims and this defendant in this case,” Shannon Gray, an attorney for Kaylee Goncalves’ family, told CNN on Monday.

“And we will provide a list of any connections that we believe are important to the Moscow police force,” Gray said.

“We would like to encourage the community to send any tips or information about contacts or information about the accused and the victims in the case to the Moscow Police Department,” the lawyer said.

The suspect’s alleged motive

Investigators have also not given any indication as to why Kohberger allegedly carried out the stabbing.

In the days since his arrest, there has been a strong focus on Kohberger’s study of criminal justice and criminology as a Washington State University undergraduate — a detail a former senior FBI profiler called “very interesting.”

“We’ve had other cases where offenders have been in areas of study that more or less prepare them to commit a crime,” Mary Ellen O’Toole told CNN on Sunday. If he is guilty, Kohberger’s “area of ​​study is not a result of cause and effect,” she insisted, noting that studying the criminal mind “didn’t lead him to it.”

“He’s interested, but the idea of ​​committing a violent crime had to be there to motivate him to commit the crime,” O’Toole said. “So that was kind of a channel to explore what he was already interested in.”

Kohberger was previously an undergraduate and graduate student at DeSales University, a Catholic university in Pennsylvania, according to the school. In 2020 he completed his studies with a bachelor’s degree completed this year according to a university spokesman.

in one Post removed from Reddit after his arrest was announced, a student investigator named Bryan Kohberger, who is linked to a DeSales University study, sought to participate in a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits drive decision-making.” influence the commission of a crime”.

“Specifically,” it says, “this study seeks to understand the story behind your recent crime, with a focus on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”

Last month, Kohberger finished his first semester as a graduate student at Washington State University, the school confirmed.

How the suspect stayed free for 7 weeks

It is also unclear why Kohberger was only arrested more than six weeks after the victims were found dead. Fry declined to reveal Saturday when Kohberger got on law enforcement’s radar, saying details in the case would be released in a timely manner.

Kohberger was driving home to Pennsylvania for the holiday, LaBar told CNN on Saturday, adding that the suspect and his father – who was accompanying his son on the cross-country drive – arrived around December 17.

A white Hyundai Elantra that authorities were looking for in connection with the murders was found at the home of Kohberger’s parents, LaBar confirmed.

The suspect was driving to his parents’ home, according to another law enforcement source, who told CNN, “Sometime just before Christmas, we focused on him being in Pennsylvania or going to Pennsylvania.”

An FBI surveillance team from the Philadelphia field office had been tracking him for four days in the area where he was arrested, according to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

While Kohberger was being observed, investigators from the Moscow Police Department, the Idaho State Police Homicide Bureau and the FBI worked with prosecutors to find a reasonably probable cause to obtain the warrant. Once the warrant was issued, the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI made the arrest.

Steve Goncalves, Kaylee’s father, said the family was asleep when Gray broke the news of the arrest.

“I was very excited because it was a celebration of life — on the same day that we hosted this event,” he told CNN’s Bianna Golodryga. Goncalves said his wife “ideally wanted this event behind us before the event started so she could just focus on our girls and that’s what happened.”

“We’re definitely going to look at this guy, look him in the eye. He’s going to have to deal with us,” said Goncalves, who plans to attend the suspect’s court hearings. “He hasn’t bothered with us for seven weeks, it doesn’t end there.”

Authorities continue to ask the public for information. Within an hour of the arrest being announced, Fry told CNN, authorities received around 400 calls.

“We want information on this person,” Fry said Saturday. “We want this updated information so we can start creating this image now. Every tip counts.”

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https://whdh.com/news/what-we-still-dont-know-about-the-suspect-in-the-idaho-college-student-killings/ What We Still Don’t Know About Idaho College Student Murders Suspect – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Sarah Y. Kim

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