The Idaho Murders



In the early morning of Nov. 13, a quadruple homicide occurred in the college town of Moscow, Idaho. After a month of investigation, the police have found and arrested a suspected murderer.

Here’s what is known: Victims Kaylee Gonclaves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, and Madison Mogen were four college students at the University of Idaho. The suspect, Bryan Kohberger, was a criminal psychology student at Washington State University. Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania, almost 3,000 miles away from the crime scene. 

The murders likely occurred between the times of 4:00 a.m. and 4:25 a.m., according to the police. Kernodle had received a DoorDash delivery at 4:00 a.m. and a loud thud was picked up by neighborhood security cameras at 4:17 a.m. In addition to the four victims at the scene, two other roommates were sleeping in the house that night, one of them being D.M., who has chosen to remain anonymous in the Moscow police affidavit. She was woken up around 4:00 a.m. by what she thought was Gonclaves playing with her dog. After hearing a loud thud and crying, D.M. opened the door to her room and saw a “figure clad in black clothing and mask that covered [his] mouth and nose” walk past her. She described the figure as “5’10” or taller, male, athletically built with bushy eyebrows,” which is similar to Kohbergers appearance. D.M. immediately locked herself in her room and called the police after finding the victims’ bodies the next morning.

The victims were all found in their bedrooms with multiple stab wounds. The autopsy report confirmed these injuries as the cause of death and noted clear signs of a struggle. Additionally, a leather knife sheath covered with the suspect’s DNA was found on the floor of Mogen’s bedroom. Later, police searched surveillance footage of the neighborhood, noticing a white Hyundai Elantra passing the victims’ house multiple times and driving towards it at 4:04 a.m. Using footage from around the area, the vehicle’s route was traced back to Pullman, Washington, where Kohberger lived. 

The victims were all found in their bedrooms with multiple stab wounds

Kohberger’s phone records show that his cell was in the area of the victims’ house 12 times over multiple months before the murders occurred. The phone was powered down from 2:47 a.m. to 4:48 a.m., rendering it untrackable the night of the murders. It returned to the house the morning after the murders at 9:00 a.m.

Police nationwide were soon informed of a vehicle that matched the description of the Hyundai. A few days later, a school-stationed officer at Washington University identified the car as belonging to Kohberger. Throughout the investigation, Kohberger was pulled over multiple times by police to monitor the car and suspect via body cam footage. Police managed to track the car back to Kohberger’s parents’ house in Pennsylvania. They obtained a DNA sample of Kohberger’s father from his trash and compared it to the DNA sample in the knife sheath, which later confirmed that the DNA came from the child of a Kohberger family member. 

With all this evidence in hand, police arrested Kohberger on Dec. 30, 2022. He appeared in court on Jan. 3 where it was determined he would be extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho for his trial on June 26. Though the suspect has been apprehended, key factors, such as a motive for the merciless killings, have yet to be revealed and may remain a mystery until the trial.