SWAT teams descended on sleepy Poconos mountain town to catch Libertarian Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger who was ‘obsessively vegan’ as a teen and ‘looked drugged at school’
- Bryan Kohberger is in custody on charges of homicide for the Idaho killings
- Relatives say he was ‘OCD’ about veganism and forced family to buy new pots
- He is registered as a Libertarian in voter records and has never been arrested
- Some who attended school with him say he ‘looked drugged’
Kohberger, 28, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary – which he committed ‘with the intention to kill’ the University of Idaho students in Moscow on November 13, police said in a press conference on Friday.
Police also said they are still searching for the murder weapon used in the killings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin.
Kohberger is a PhD student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, which is a short drive across the state line from the University of Idaho. Police say DNA evidence links Kohberger to the scene.
He was taken into custody in Albrightsville, a small town in the heart of the Poconos Mountains more than 2,000 miles from where the gruesome killings took place.
Friday’s arrest is the first major break in the case – with Kohberger asking if ‘anyone else was arrested’ when he was taken into custody.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested after a SWAT team swooped into Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, around 3am this morning. Local cops and the FBI took him into custody
Idaho police said the four University of Idaho students were murdered in their sleep between 3am and 4am (Pictured: Victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin)
Albrightsville, Pennsylvania was swarming with police on Friday after Kohberger’s arrest
Locals and at least one police officer are spotted in Albrightsville on Friday, after Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was arrested
The crime took place six weeks ago, 2,500 miles from where Kohberger was arrested
Kohberger is a registered Libertarian, and relatives described Bryan Kohberger as being ‘obsessive’ about his eating habits
Kohberger is a registered Libertarian, although does not appear to have had any active social media profiles at the time of his arrest.
A relative told The New York Post Kohberger is ‘OCD’ about his eating habits and forced his family to buy new pots that had never been used to cook meat.
‘It was above and beyond being vegan. His aunt and uncle had to buy new pots and pans because he would not eat from anything that had ever had meat cooked in them. He seemed very OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)’ the woman said.
During a press conference on Friday authorities confirmed that a white Hyundai Elantra was discovered in the search – with sources saying it was towed from outside Kohberger’s home.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that his DNA was discovered at the scene of the crime – with officers managing to track down who owned the car seen in the area of the slayings.
However, Kohberger has no prior arrests, according to public records, so it is unclear how officials got hold of his DNA.
Authorities then discovered that he had left the area and traveled to Pennsylvania, where an FBI surveillance team had been tracking the 6ft tall man.
He was kept under surveillance, with the FBI watching him for four days, while investigators from Moscow Police and Idaho State Police worked to get an arrest warrant.
Idaho murders arrest: the latest
Authorities are still appealing for anyone with information on Kohberger or the quadruple murders to get in touch.
Moscow Chief of Police James Fry refused to rule out that the killer had an accomplice, adding: ‘We have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes.’
Details of the killings, and the motive for them, are yet to be released with law enforcement saying a sealed arrest affidavit will be released once Kohberger is extradited back to Idaho.
He is currently in custody at Monroe County Jail in Pennsylvania until a hearing on January 3.
There is no set time scale for how long his extradition from Pennsylvania to Idaho might take. If Kohberger doesn’t contest it, it’ll happen relatively quickly.
The suspect is believed to have driven some 2,300 miles from Moscow to Pennsylvania. He was attending college in nearby Washington State
A white Hyundai Elantra – the same make and model of car being sought by cops in connection to the killing – is said to have been towed from outside Kohberger’s home
As part of his research a DeSales Kohberger posted an appeal for help on social media with his research – which was looking at how ‘emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime’
Kohberger is being held for extradition in a criminal homicide investigation based on an active arrest warrant for first-degree murder
Kohberger is being held for extradition in a criminal homicide investigation based on an active arrest warrant for first-degree murder issued by the Moscow Police Department and Latah County Prosecutor’s Office.
Sources say that authorities knew who they were looking for and hunted the suspect down to Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains – more than 2,400 miles from Idaho.
NewsNation reported that Kohberger had a quiet, blank stare’ when arrested by local cops and the FBI on Friday morning.
It is understood that Kohberger is a PhD college student at Washington State University, within the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, with the university removing his profile from their website.
According to the now-deleted webpage, Kohberger attended the college in Pullman – a 15-minute drive from where the students were killed.
He graduated from DeSales University in Pennsylvania in May 2022 with a master of arts in criminal justice.
As part of his research Kohberger posted an appeal for help on social media with his research – which was looking at how ‘emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime.’
The last known movements of at least two of the victims: The girls visited the truck at 1.43am-1.53am. It’s unclear if they went straight home, but police say they were murdered shortly afterward sometime between 3am and 4am
A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found dead is displayed on a table along with buttons and bracelets
Nick Mcloughlin, who was friends with Kohberger at school told the Daily Beast he was ‘stunned’ to see his old acquaintance arrested.
Mcloughlin said Kohberger was ‘down to Earth,’ when he graduated junior year. But at the start of senior year, Kohberger returned ‘thinner than a rail,’ had turned ‘aggressive’ and taken up boxing.
Recalling how their friendship soured, Mcloughlin added: ‘He always wanted to fight somebody, he was bullying people. We started cutting him off from our friend group because he was 100 percent a different person.’
Kohberger said he has ‘no idea’ what prompted the sudden change.
Little is known about Kohberger’s family. His father, Michael, and mother Maryann, live in the home where he was believed to have been staying when he was arrested.
In 2010, Michael filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s unclear what he and his wife do for work now.
He has two older sisters – Anne and Melissa. Melissa, 31, is a therapist in New Jersey.
While he is accused of atrocious brutality, both Melissa and his mother Maryann have spoken out in the past against violence.
In May, after the Uvalde mass shooting in Texas, Maryann submitted a letter to a local newspaper in which she included a poem written by Melissa about the massacre.
Earlier this year, Kohberger’s mother MaryAnn submitted a poem written by his therapist sister about the Uvalde massacre
‘As I sat this morning, reeling from yet another school shooting, I found myself wrestling with which actions need to be taken to stop all the madness. What is the answer? Gun control measures? Mental health intervention?
‘Then I received a message from my daughter who works as a mental health therapist in New Jersey.
‘She shared a poem she had written, while in the greatest depths of despair. It shook me to my core, and I felt the need to share it,’ Maryann wrote.
The poem reads: ‘Bereft of their laughter
‘There is now not a sound
As we lower our children into the ground
‘Small hands and feet
‘Buried six feet deep into the earth of the world that failed them.’
No one from the family has yet commented on his arrest.
Classmates from the high school he attended have also spoken of their shock.
Outside the apartment of suspect Bryan Kohberger in graduate housing on campus at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington
‘Very strange kid. I worked with him for a bit at a pizza shop. Nice kid but just out there,’ commented one former colleague on social media.
Lawrence Rosenberg said he attended classes at the Career & Technical Institute with Kohberger, but that he dropped out in 2014 without completing the course.
‘He would always looked bugged eye’d like on drugs and nobody in the class really never talked to him that’s why he only went for 2 years and left without taking the final exam,’ he said.
De Sales, where Kohberger obtained his undergraduate degree and where he commissioned a survey of ex-cons on how they committed crimes, released a statement on Friday admonishing the violence of the murders.
‘On Friday, December 30, DeSales University learned of the arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students.
‘Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate studies in June 2022.
‘As a Catholic, Salesian community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families during this difficult time.’
The University of Washington State, where he was studying recently, is yet to issue a statement.
Authorities were left baffled by the brutal killings and have repeatedly appealed to the public for help with the case.
Reports from both the coroner and police confirm that each of the students had been stabbed multiple times in the torso – and were ambushed in their sleep.
Police have found no evidence of a sex crime, and the victims had wounds on their bodies which indicated that they tried to fight off the attacker.
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor
Bestfriends Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, both 21, were murdered on November 13 along with roommate Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20
Ethan was staying over with Xana when they were both knifed to death in the murder house at 1122 Kings Road
Initially cops said they thought all four were assaulted as they slept, with Goncalves father saying she had the worst injuries from the incident – suffering ‘gouging wounds’ and ‘rips’.
The Chief of police at Moscow Police Department himself admitted that investigators did not understand how the two surviving roommates – Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen – appeared to sleep through the attack.
‘Multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher before a Moscow Police officer arrived at the location,’ authorities said in a previous statement.
When they arrived at the scene, they said, they found Kernodle and Chapin, who were in a relationship, on the second floor, with Mogen and Goncalves sharing a bed on the top floor.
Authorities believe they were all stabbed to death somewhere between 3am to 4am that morning, after enjoying a night out.
Police in Idaho have combed through nearly 20,000 tips and questioned 300 people about the murders of four college students last month.
Authorities are today clearing the property, but previously stated that they do not know how long it will take to clean up the property – adding it will be ‘returned to the property manager when complete.’
The update comes just days after Fry told KREM his investigators are still waiting for crime lab results from evidence collected at the scene.
How the Idaho murders case that shocked the world unfolded
Sunday, November 13 2022: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death at their home in Moscow, Idaho in the early hours of the morning, sometime between 3am and 4am.
Earlier that evening, Mogen and Goncalves were captured on a Twitch livestream close to a food truck while waiting for an order of pasta carbonara.
A sorority driving service drove the young women home around 1:56am.
Kernodle and her boyfriend Chapin had returned from the Sigma Chi frat house around 11 minutes earlier.
Two other female roommates who survived the attack went to bed around 1am and didn’t wake up until the next morning.
Goncalves called her ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur seven times between 2:26 and 2:44, her sister Alivea said. He was quickly cleared as a suspect.
A 911 call was made at 11:58am that mornig.
At 2pm, students were told of the murders by the University of Idaho, with staffers urging them to ‘shelter in place.’
Monday, November 14 2022: Moscow Mayor Art Bettge said the killings were a ‘crime of passion,’ only to later backtrack. He said that theory was one of several under consideration.
Tuesday, November 15 2022: Moscow Police called the killings an ‘isolated, targeted attack’ and added that there was ‘no imminent threat to the community at large.’
But angry locals – as well as the four victims’ families – slammed what they described as contradictory statements from investigators.
Wednesday, November 16 2022: Moscow PD Chief James Fry disclosed the fact that two roommates at home had survived.
He said there were no signs of forced entry, but refused to say who had made the 911 call, and why it had been made an estimated eight hours later.
Fry angered locals by backtracking on an earlier claim their was no danger to the wider community. He warned them to ‘please stay vigilant.’
Thursday, November 17 2022: The killings are officially ruled homicides by stabbings by Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt.
She said all four victims were likely attacked as they slept, and that each had multiple stab wounds.
Distressingly, some victims were found to have defensive wounds – suggesting they’d woken up while being attacked – but there were no signs of sexual assault.
Sunday, November 20: DailyMail.com exclusively reveals a local dog was skinned and filleted three weeks before the killings, sparking fears of a connection.
Cops later insisted this was not the case. They added that Goncalves’ dog was home at the time of the slayings.
November 22 2022: Cops admitted Goncalves had been followed around a supermarket around a month before the killings, but said they were unable to verify claims she had a stalker.
November 30 2022: Kaylee Goncalves’ father Steve said his daughter and friend Maddie Mogen had been sleeping in the same bed when they were stabbed.
Latah County Prosecutor Bill Latah claimed one of the victims was ‘undoubtedly targeted.’
Hours later, Moscow Police Department contradicted that claim, only to admit that they did consider the crime a ‘targeted’ one the following day.
Six people are ruled out as suspects: A man seen close to Goncalves and Mogen at the food truck; the driver who took them home; Goncalves’ ex-boyfriend; the surviving roommates and another student who’d moved out of the property several months earlier.
December 5 2022: Goncalves’ dad Steve slammed cops ‘absurd’ approach to the case, claiming Moscow Police Department had been too quick to clear potential suspects, and rule out links to other cases
December 7 2022: Cops make their first appeal for a white 2011 to 2013 Hyundai Elantra spotted at the crime scene around the time of the murders.
A white Hyundai Elantra is said to have been towed from suspect Bryan Kohberger’s home in Scranton, Pennsylvania on December 30 after he was arrested.
December 12 2022: Steve Goncalves reveals Kaylee had ‘big open gouges’ as a result of the deadly attack.
He branded cops ‘cowards’ for not sharing more information, and said his daughter’s wounds were more severe than Maddie’s.
December 18 2022: New footage emerges showing Goncalves and Mogen hours before their killings, walking through downtown while discussing a man named Adam.
Goncalves’ family lawyer later clarified that the Adam in question is a bartender.
December 27 2022: More leaked footage shows Goncalves and Mogen inside the Corner Club bar in Moscow shortly before returning home.
December 30 2022: Cops announce they’ve made an arrest in connection with the killings in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The suspect is named as University of Washington criminology Ph.D student Bryan Christopher Kohberger.
Kohberger was nabbed at his home by SWAT teams, and arraigned the same morning. He now awaits extradition back to Idaho.