More than six weeks after four college students were slain in an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, police have arrested a suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, in connection with the murders.
The 28-year-old was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant, Pennsylvania State Police announced Friday. Police said they were assisting the Moscow police department, the Idaho State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the apprehension. A law enforcement source told CBS News Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.
Kohberger appeared in front of a Pennsylvania judge on Friday and was remanded without bond to Monroe County Correctional Facility, where he is awaiting extradition to Idaho, police said.
Kohberger is facing charges of four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary, said Latah County prosecutor Bill Thompson in a Friday press conference.
Who is Bryan Kohberger?
Kohberger was born on Nov. 21, 1994. In 2018, he finished an associate’s degree in psychology at Northampton Community College, then went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at DeSales University in 2020. He then did further graduate studies at the university, completing those in 2022, a representative for DeSales confirmed. The representative did not say what he studied or majored in.
At the time of his arrest, Kohberger was a Ph.D. criminology student and teaching assistant at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, which is only about a 15-minute drive from Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger had just finished his first semester at WSU, the school said in a statement.
Moscow Police Chief James Fry confirmed in a Friday afternoon press conference that Kohberger lived in Washington state, and the college said that university police assisted Idaho law enforcement officials in executing a search warrant at Kohberger’s on-campus apartment and office on Friday.
“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.”
Another graduate student in the criminology and criminal justice department at WSU told the AP that the news of Kohberger’s arrest was “pretty out of left field.”
Ben Roberts said he took several courses with Kohberger after the two started the program together in August. Kohberger “was always looking for a way to fit in,” Roberts told the AP.
Roberts said Kohberger would “find the most complicated way to explain something.”
“He had to make sure you knew that he knew it,” Roberts added.
Where does the investigation stand?
During Friday’s press conference, officials were wary of sharing many details of the investigation, including those that led to Kohberger’s arrest. Fry said that the information was not being shared to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to stay in line with Idaho law.
The police chief said some of the 19,000 tips that police received were integral to arresting Kohberger, but declined to say when he became a suspect or what brought him to their attention. Law enforcement sources told CBS News that forensic analysis allegedly linked Kohberger to the crime scene in Idaho.
Those sources told CBS News that FBI agents had conducted surveillance operations on Kohberger in Pennsylvania, tracking his movements on the days before he was taken into custody. Fry said that it was a “fairly sleepless couple days” leading up to Kohberger’s arrest.
“I have faith in those agencies across the nation, I have faith in our officers, I have faith in the FBI, and they did a great job,” Fry said.
Fry said police have not found the murder weapon, but that they had recovered a Hyundai Elantra. Investigators said several weeks ago that they were looking for the occupant or occupants of a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra that was “in the area” when the students were killed.
More information, including the factual basis for the charges that were filed, will be revealed when a probable cause affidavit is unsealed, which won’t happen until Kohberger returns to Idaho and is served with an arrest warrant there. Kohberger is next expected to appear in court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon.
Fry also declined to say if there was any possible connection between the victims and Kohberger, and did not share a motive for the killings.
“These murders have shaken our community and no arrest will ever bring back these young students. However, we do believe justice will be found through the criminal process,” Fry said.
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