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January 01, 2023

Pennsylvania man suspected of killing University of Idaho students likely the only arrest, police say

Bryan Christopher Kohberger is expected to waive is extradition hearing to be brought back to Idaho where he faces murder charges

Crime Arrests
Idaho stabbing suspect Provided Image/MONROE COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, the Pennsylvania man suspected to have stabbed four University of Idaho students to death in November, is likely the only suspect in the deadly case, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said. Kohberger has waived his right to an extradition hearing and will be taken back to Idaho, where he faces murder charges.

Moscow, Idaho, Police Chief James Fry believes there is only one suspect in the case of the stabbing incident that killed four college students last November.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, a 28-year-old man living in Pennsylvania, was arrested in the Poconos on a warrant of first-degree murder on Friday. He is being held at Monroe County Correctional Facility without bail.

Fry told ABC Newson Saturday, "We believe we have our guy, the one that committed these murders."

Kohberger is a Ph.D. student at Washington State University, which is just 10 miles away from the University of Idaho campus.

AP reported that Kohberger would waive his extradition hearing to be taken back to Idaho as quickly as possible to face trial.

On Friday morning, police arrested Kohberger at his parents' home in Chestnut Hill, Monroe County, under suspicion that he killed Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogel, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, on Nov. 13.

On Saturday, Moscow Police Captain Anthony Dahlinger said that DNA was taken from the suspect as soon as he was taken into custody, according to the AP report. 

Like Fry,  Dahlinger said, "we believe we've got our man, he's the one that we believe is responsible for all four of the murders."

In the early morning hours on Sunday, Nov. 13, police believe Kohberger broke into the off-campus home where Kernodle, Mogel, and Goncalves live with two other roommates to kill someone. According to the coroner, the victims were believed to have been asleep when stabbed based on defensive stab wounds.

Kohberger is eager to be taken back to Idaho, according to his defense attorney Jason LaBar. But, protecting his client, LaBar warned people against passing judgment on the case until Kohberger had a fair trial. 

"Mr. Kohberger has been accused of very serious crimes, but the American justice system cloaks him in a veil of innocence," LaBar wrote in a prepared statement. "He should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise — not tried in the court of public opinion.

LaBar added that his client is eager to be acquitted of the four first-degree murder and burglary charges.

There is no known motive for the suspect accused of killing these students, and police have remained quiet on whether or not Kohberger had any dealing with any of them before his arrest as an investigation continues.

A white Hyundai Elantra near the crime scene was seized at Kohberger's parent's home on Friday when he was arrested, it was seen as a critical piece of evidence, and law enforcement does not believe anyone else was in the car, according to ABC News.

Police asked anyone with a relationship to the suspect to call the tip line with any information that would aid their investigation; there were 400 calls made as soon as Kohberger was identified as the alleged killer.

Over six weeks passed since the initial grim news that four people were violently killed; there had been frustrated with the lack of updates and progress from the victims' families and the Moscow community. Finally, the arrest of Kohberger seems to provide some relief to the grieving families. 

"I think there's some closure there," Fry said. "And it always feels good to give people closure and to help them heal a little bit."

There is no timetable for when Kohberger is expected to be back in Idaho, where he will be held without bond.