Newly released court documents detail how one survivor of the quadruple murder at the University of Idaho described how she stood “frozen” and “in shock” as she watched a man in black clothes and a mask walk past her in her home on the night of the killings.
Documents made public on Thursday quote the roommate as saying she didn’t recognize the man who walked toward the back sliding glass door of their off-campus Moscow, Idaho home. It was stated in the papers that after she saw him, she went and locked herself in her room.
The suspect’s phone had been near the victims’ house at least 12 times prior to the murders, dating back to at least August, but it was turned off during the crimes, which is another chilling detail revealed in the court documents.
Two roommates survived the early morning of November 13th’s attack; police say they are not suspects. Police said that later that morning, the roommates called their friends over to the house because they were concerned that one of the victims on the second floor had fainted and wasn’t regaining consciousness. Police say that at around noon, one of the roommates dialed 911 to report an unconscious person in the house.
Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, and Ethan Chapin were all found dead from apparent stabbings when police arrived at the University of Idaho.
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A tan leather knife sheath was found on Mogen’s bed, and it contained the suspect’s DNA, as stated in the papers.
The affidavit states that on December 27, 2018, police recovered trash from Kohberger’s parent’s house in Pennsylvania, and a lab determined that the DNA from the trash belonged to the father of the person who left DNA on the knife sheath.
According to the affidavit, one of the rooms, where the survivors hid, had a shoe print outside it that may have been left by the intruder.
When The Murders Took Place
According to the filings in court, the police believe the murders occurred between 4 and 4:25 a.m.The affidavit states that around 4 a.m., Kernodle received a DoorDash delivery order. The affidavit states that one of the surviving roommates heard Goncalves and her dog playing in the early morning hours (around 4 a.m.).
“Shortly thereafter,” the roommate, “said she heard who she believed to be Goncalves says something to the effect of ‘there’s someone here,'” according to the papers. The affidavit claims it was possible for that to have been Kernodle on the phone since she was using TikTok at 4:12 a.m.
Upon hearing the remark about someone being in the house, the roommate “looked out of her bedroom but did not see anything,” as stated in the papers. She re-opened the door when she thought she heard crying coming from Kernodle’s room. The roommate reopened her door after hearing the wailing, and that’s when she saw the man in the mask, according to the papers.
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She gave a description of the intruder as “not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows,” according to the papers. A security camera placed less than 50 feet away from Kernodle’s room recorded a barking dog and “distorted audio of what sounded like voices or a whimper followed by a loud thud” at 4:17 a.m., as stated in the documents.
There Was A White Hyundai Elantra
Officials reviewed surveillance footage after the bodies were found and saw the suspect’s white Hyundai Elantra drive by the victims’ house three times before entering the area for a fourth time at 4:04 a.m.
The suspect attended Washington State University in nearby Pullman, and police say they tracked his movements that night back to his dorm room there.
Kohberger committed the murders while pursuing a doctorate in criminology at the University of Washington in Washington State. The distance between the Washington State campus and Moscow, Idaho, is less than 10 miles.
The affidavit states that Moscow police asked law enforcement to keep an eye out for white Elantras and that on November 29 a police officer from Washington State University searched for vehicles matching that description on campus and located one that was registered to Kohberger.
On November 18, five days after the murders, Kohberger registered his white Elantra in the state of Washington and was issued a new license plate. His Pennsylvania license plate had been valid for the vehicle since it was first registered there, but it was set to expire on November 30.
Who Is Bryan Kohberger?
In an application essay, Kohberger reportedly stated his desire to assist “rural law enforcement agencies with how to better collect and analyze technical data in public safety operations,” according to the affidavit filed by the Pullman Police Department.
According to the affidavit, Kohberger “also posted a Reddit survey which… asked for participants to provide information to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime.”
On Tuesday, Kohberger appeared in a Pennsylvania court on charges of first-degree murder and burglary. He agreed to be extradited to Idaho, where he is currently in custody.
Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, Kohberger’s lawyer in Pennsylvania, said in a statement that his client was “eager to be exonerated of these charges.”
Kohberger had his court date in Moscow on Thursday. When Kohberger, dressed in an orange jumpsuit but not in shackles, entered the courtroom, the parents of Kaylee Goncalves stared at him.
After the attack in Moscow, the white Elantra’s driver was traced back to Pullman, where his phone had been all along. From 2:47 a.m. to 4:48 a.m., however, the phone was not in use, which “is consistent with Kohberger attempting to conceal his location during the quadruple homicide,” as stated in the file.
According to the document, his phone had been in the area of the victims’ home at least 12 times prior to the murders, beginning in August. Except for one, they all occurred in the wee hours of the morning or late at night.
Cell phone records show that he was in the area around the murder scene between 9:12 and 9:21 a.m. on the morning following the murders.