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What we know about the suspect arrested in connection with the Idaho college student killings


The man arrested in connection with the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death in November attended a nearby university and lived just miles away from where the victims were found.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on Friday on an active arrest warrant for first-degree murder charges issued by the Moscow, Idaho, Police Department and the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the criminal complaint.

The four slain students – Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20 – were each stabbed multiple times in the early morning hours of November 13 at an off-campus house in the small college town of Moscow.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger

Kohberger is a graduate student at Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, according to a now-removed university graduate directory, which was seen by CNN earlier Friday.

In a Friday evening statement, the university confirmed Kohberger finished his first semester as a PhD student in the school’s criminal justice program earlier in December.

University police assisted authorities in executing search warrants at his office and apartment, both located on the school’s Pullman campus, the statement added.

A CNN team earlier had filmed law enforcement agents outside a WSU graduate residence in Pullman that authorities said was connected to Kohberger.

Pullman is about a 15-minute drive from Moscow, where the killings took place.

Kohberger was previously an undergraduate and graduate student at DeSales University, according to a statement on the school’s website. DeSales is a Catholic university in Pennsylvania, according to its official Facebook page.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and earlier this year completed his “graduate studies for the master of arts in criminal justice program,” according to a university spokesperson.

In a post that was removed from Reddit after the arrest was made public, a student investigator associated with a DeSales University study named Bryan Kohberger sought participation in a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime.”

The now-removed Reddit post said, “In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”

CNN reached one of the principal investigators of that study, a professor at DeSales University, but they declined to comment on the matter. The university has not responded to comment.

A spokesperson for Northampton Community College also confirmed to CNN that Kohberger was a student there and graduated with an Associate of Arts and Psychology in 2018.

Earlier this month, authorities asked the public for information about a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra they believed was in the “immediate area” of the crime scenes around the time of the killings. An overwhelming amount of tips poured in after that call, police previously said.

Investigators eventually narrowed their focus to Kohberger after tracing ownership of that Elantra back to him, according to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

His DNA also matched DNA that was recovered at the crime scene, according to the sources, who also explained that authorities believe Kohberger left the area and went to Pennsylvania after the crime.

A surveillance team with the FBI had been tracking the suspect for several days in the area where he was arrested, the sources added.

Kohberger drove across the country in the Elantra and arrived at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania around Christmas, according to one law enforcement source.

Authorities kept Kohberger under surveillance while investigators from Moscow’s police department, the Idaho State Police and the FBI worked with prosecutors to develop sufficient probable cause for an arrest warrant.

Law enforcement tracked both Kohberger across the country and also were surveilling his parents’ house, the law enforcement source said.

And still, authorities want to hear from people who may be able to shed more light on Kohberger.

“This is not the end of this investigation, in fact, this is a new beginning,” Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said Friday. “You all now know the name of the person who has been charged with these offenses, please get that information out there, please ask the public, anyone who knows about this individual, to come forward.”

“Report anything you know about him, to help the investigators, and eventually our office and the court system, understand fully everything there is to know about not only the individual, but what happened and why,” Thompson added.

Records show Kohberger was arraigned Friday morning and has another court hearing in Pennsylvania on extradition on Tuesday.

CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Pamela Brown, John Miller and Mark Morales contributed to this report.