On the 8th of January— Following weeks of rumors and criticism, the public finally saw the results of the Moscow Police Department’s investigation into the deaths of four students from the University of Idaho.
The redacted probable cause affidavit was released on Thursday, detailing how detectives used DNA evidence, cell phone data, video surveillance, and an eyewitness to build their case against Washington State University graduate student Bryan Kohberger, 28. Ex-Los Angeles homicide detective John Skaggs says, “At this point, it appears that some excellent police work was done.”
The bodies of Maddie Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, were discovered on November 13 in the girls’ rental home close to the University of Iowa campus. According to court papers, the two other girls’ roommates were also at home and unharmed, while one of them did witness the attacker fleeing the building.
Skaggs warned that the DNA, in this case, could be complicated before the arrest was made because the girls’ home at 1122 King Road was notorious as a party spot.
However, investigators uncovered a knife sheath next to one of the victims that contained what they believe to be the suspect’s DNA on the snap button.”If that house is a party place, I’m sure they had a lot of profiles on it,” Skaggs said. But to have DNA in a pod and have a stabbing death of course would have been monumental.
Even though many new pieces of information were revealed in court documents filed on Thursday, Skaggs warned that most of the evidence police have is probably not included in the affidavit.
If you read the affidavit carefully, you’ll see that Skaggs expresses the hope that this is not all they have to offer. It’s not much at all to prove probable cause. During the initial stages of the investigation, police spotted a white Hyundai Elantra near the residence. On November 29th, a WSU police officer conducting a random check of campus parking permit holders discovered Kohberger’s Elantra.
Kohberger Wouldn’t Be Taken Into Custody For Another Month
According to Skaggs, there are a number of possibilities for the delay. Skaggs speculated that “probably, theirs is not the only Elantra on campus,” meaning that the police had to inspect dozens of Elantras to identify a possible suspect.
He said that getting mobile phone records could take weeks. She said that the researchers could have looked at data from multiple Elantra owners, but that doing so would have been “cumbersome and time-consuming.”
Skaggs stressed the importance of remembering that the information made public so far only represents a fraction of what researchers actually know. Dr. Danielle Slakoff, a professor of criminal justice, concurs.
“Many of the most common inquiries are: A, why them? and B, why didn’t this person call the cops? It was Slakoff who made the remark.Slakoff predicted that the motive wouldn’t be revealed in court filings until the trial.
Even more so when the college student is a victim, Slakoff advises against speculating about whether or not the roommate saw someone else in the house. We have no idea of his mental state, he said.Slakoff and Skaggs agreed that it could be months or even years before the full extent of the investigation and evidence is made public.
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John Skaggs, A Retired LAPD Homicide Detective, Said, “It Sounds Like At This Point, Excellent Police Work Was Done”
The bodies of Maddie Mogen (21), Kaylee Goncalves (21), Ethan Chapin (20), and Xana Kernodle (20) were discovered on November 13 in the girls’ rental home close to the University of Iowa campus. Court records show that the two other girls’ roommates were also at home and unharmed, though one of them did witness the attacker leaving the house.
Skaggs had previously warned that the DNA, in this case, could be complicated because the 1122 King Road home where the girls lived was known as a party spot, despite the fact that DNA usually plays a major role in modern homicide cases.
Nonetheless, investigators discovered a knife sheath next to one of the victims, and the DNA of the suspect was found on the sheath’s snap button.
If it’s a bit of a party pad, I’m sure they had a lot of people with different profiles over there,” Skaggs said. “But to have any kind of DNA… on a sheath and of course, you have a stabbing murder, that would have been huge,” the investigator said.
Even though a lot of new information was revealed in court documents filed on Thursday, Skaggs warned that most of the evidence police have is probably not included in the affidavit.
In his affidavit, Skaggs said, “I hope what you’re reading at the affidavit is not everything they have.” Probable cause requires only this minimal evidence.
Early in the investigation, police spotted a white Hyundai Elantra in the neighborhood. On November 29th, a WSU police officer conducted a random check of vehicles with valid campus parking permits and discovered Kohberger’s Elantra.
Skaggs speculated that there were likely many other Elantras on campus and that police had to look through dozens of cars to find the one that belonged to the possible perpetrator.He said that obtaining cell phone records could take weeks. It would have been “cumbersome and time-consuming,” he said, for investigators to sift through data on numerous Elantra owners. Skaggs stressed the importance of keeping in mind that the information that has been made public thus far represents only a fraction of what investigators actually know.
Danielle Slakoff, a specialist in criminal justice, concurs.”Among the most pressing concerns is, “A, Why them specifically?” as well as B, why didn’t they call the police?” What Slakoff remarked. The motive will not be discussed in court documents, Slakoff said, and won’t be revealed at trial.Slakoff warned against speculation about the college student’s roommate who claimed to have seen someone in the house.