Authorities in Pennsylvania have arrested a suspect in the deaths of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death in their beds, a law enforcement official said Friday.
The murders initially stunned law enforcement and shocked the small Idaho town of Moscow, a farming community of about 25,000 that had not been murdered in five years. Nearly half of the University of Idaho’s more than 11,000 students faced the threat of reprisal for opting to leave the city and take classes online.
Court documents filed in Monroe County court indicate Brian Christopher Kohberger, 28, was being held for transfer to Idaho on a felony manslaughter warrant.
A police official confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he could not publicly share details of the investigation before a formal announcement.
A doctoral student with the same name is listed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University (WSU), which is a short distance from the University of Idaho. Messages were left with WSU seeking more information.
The Idaho students—Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Zana Kurnodl and Ethan Chapin—were found stabbed to death in a rented house near campus in the early hours of November 13. For weeks investigators failed to identify a suspect or locate the murder weapon.
But the matter came to light when law enforcement asked the public for help in locating a white sedan seen near the home at the time of the murder. The Moscow Police Department made the request on December 7, and the next day due to the large number of incoming calls the calls had to be directed to a special FBI center.
Goncalves, 21, Rathdrum, Idaho; Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington, were close friends. Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle lived in a three-story rented house with two other roommates. Kernodle and Chapin were a couple and he was on his way home that night.
The autopsy revealed that all four were probably asleep when they were attacked. Some received injuries while trying to defend themselves and all were stabbed multiple times. Police said there were no signs of sexual assault.
Boone reported from Boise, Idaho, and Balsamo from Washington. Journalists Rhonda Schaffner contributed from New York and Mark Scolforo from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.