The nearly two-month-long search for a suspect in the gruesome homicides of four University of Idaho students came to an end Dec. 30 with the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student at Washington State University, who was arrested in Pennsylvania.
Kohberger, a criminology student at WSU, allegedly used a fixed-blade knife to murder Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen in the early hours of Nov. 13 at the home in Moscow, Idaho, where three of the four victims lived. The murders launched a manhunt involving numerous state and local police officers as well as the FBI.
Kohberger’s possible connection to the victims remained unclear as of Friday evening, though the distance between Washington State and the University of Idaho is less than 10 miles.
In a Friday press conference, officials noted that Idaho law allows the limited release of information until Kohberger is back in the state. They said they intend to extradite Kohberger from Pennsylvania back to Idaho, where he is set to appear before a judge today. Given those restrictions, officials declined to answer numerous questions about the investigation, emphasizing that more details will be released in time.
The Nov. 13 murders shook the small town of Moscow and created rampant online speculation, including a Reddit community of more than 90,000 members. Internet sleuths falsely identified multiple people as suspects in the murders, including University of Idaho professor Rebecca Scofield, who sued a TikTok psychic for falsely claiming, based on tarot card readings, that she had orchestrated the killings. Police have since confirmed Scofield is not a suspect.
Kohberger’s lawyer said he would not fight extradition and was “eager to be exonerated,” NBC News reported. The lawyer said Kohberger was “very aware, but calm, and really shocked by his arrest.”
The New York Times reported that Kohberger had been “highly engaged” in his classes at Washington State.