Headway made in the Idaho murder trial


David Harlan

University of Idaho administration building, located in Moscow, Idaho. The murders took place on this campus.

Jamie Chaney, News Writer

Following days of surveillance by multiple law enforcement agencies, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was taken into custody on Dec. 30, in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students.

The murders took place in the early morning of Nov. 13  at a residential building near the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, Idaho. Authorities say the murders took place somewhere between 4:00 a.m. and 4:25 a.m.

The crime quickly gained national attention not only due to its brutal nature but also because of the seemingly complete lack of suspects or leads.

Over the course of the next month and a half, as no arrests were made and no suspects were named, many began to criticize the apparent lack of effort and effectiveness on the side of investigators.

However, unbeknownst to the public, investigators had been keeping an eye out for Kohbergers vehicle, a white Hyundai Elantra, since at least Nov. 25. This was due to the existence of surveillance footage that authorities did not release to the public.

The authorities were also working with the previously unreleased description of the perpetrator. The description was given by the unnamed, and the only witness to the crime. The description provided sex and an idea of the build of the perpetrator.

On Nov. 29, an officer at Washington State University, only about seven miles away from where the murders took place, identified a white Hyundai Elantra belonging to Kohlberger. This, along with the previously provided description, of which he fit, made authorities lock in on him as a suspect. At some point during the investigation, authorities acquired the location records for Kohlberger’s phone which put him near the scene somewhere between 9:12 and 9:21 a.m.

On Dec. 25, Kohlberger was stopped by authorities twice on I-70 heading to his family’s home in Pennsylvania for the holidays.

For the next few days leading up to his arrest on Dec. 3o, Kohlberger would stay at his family’s home. Here both state and local officers, along with FBI agents staked out the residence and dug through the trash to gather DNA samples that could be matched to the scene of the crime. The authorities were successful in acquiring a sample of Kohlberger’s DNA, and after sending it to Idaho State Lab found it to be a match to that found at the scene.

Kohlberger was seen by the surveillance teams wearing surgical gloves outside his home on multiple occasions, and thoroughly cleaned his vehicle of potential evidence. Additionally, five days after the crime, Kohlberger changed his license plate numbers.

Following his arrest, Kohlberger agreed on Jan. 3 to be extradited to Idaho for his trial and made his first court appearance on Jan. 5.

At the proceedings on Jan. 5, the probable cause affidavit containing most of the currently available details regarding the investigation into the murders was released. Kohlberger received no bail and a contact order was issued for the victim’s families and two surviving roommates.

With Kohlberger’s, preliminary hearing still yet to come and prosecutors still reportedly building their case, a trial, and its results, might still be a ways off.