Police in Pennsylvania arrested a suspect Friday in the slayings of four University of Idaho students, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was being held for extradition in a criminal homicide investigation, according to an arrest warrant for first-degree murder issued by the Moscow Police Department and the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office.
Kohberger was arrested in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania, they said.
Killed on Nov. 13 were: Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
What to know
- Police in Moscow, Idaho, held a news conference this afternoon and said the suspect will appear in a Pennsylvania courtroom on Tuesday.
- Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was being held for extradition in connection with the killings of the four students.
- The arrest comes as a “celebration of life” was planned later Friday for two of the roommates, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen.
- Investigators were also looking for the weapon, believed to be a large knife.
DNA played a role in finding suspect, sources say
DNA was a factor leading investigators to a suspect in the November slayings of four University of Idaho students, NBC News has learned.
Two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News that DNA played a role in helping investigators home in on suspect Bryan Christopher Kohberger.
Family of Ethan Chapin says arrest won't 'alleviate the pain'
The family of victim Ethan Chapin, 20, one of four students killed in the University of Idaho-adjacent quadruple murder in November, said news of Friday's arrest brings some closure, but it won't alter their course.
"We are relieved this chapter is over because it provides a form of closure," a family statement released by Chapin spokesperson Christina Teves reads. "However, it doesn't alter the outcome or alleviate the pain. We miss Ethan, and our family is forever changed."
Police announced the arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, in Pennsylvania, and said he will face a murder charge for each victim.
On Nov. 13 in Moscow, Idaho, at a three-story residence just outside campus, Chapin's body was found alongside those of Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
Idaho police chief addresses online sleuths
The slaying of the four students drew online sleuths after police put out mixed messages in the case and no suspect was declared for weeks.
Moscow Police Chief James Fry was asked by a reporter Friday what his message was to online sleuths who "slandered and harassed" people they thought were responsible for the killings.
“There was a lot of speculation going on. And we’ve always said from the very beginning, we’re the official message that comes out and to pay attention to what we’re putting out there to the press.”
Fry, however, also thanked the community and tipsters for stepping up and providing more than 19,000 tips. Investigators conducted more than 300 interviews, Fry said.
Idaho Police Chief: 'We are still looking for the weapon'
Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Friday that investigators are still looking for the murder weapon used in the slaying of the four University of Idaho students. The weapon is believed to be a large knife.
“We are still looking for all pieces of evidence. But we are still looking for the weapon,” Fry said.
Fry remained tight-lipped about what evidence investigators do have in the case. He declined to identify a motive in the slayings, saying that will come out as the investigation continues. He also didn’t say if the suspect knew any of the slaying victims.
Fry did say a Hyundai Elantra believed to be connected to the case was found by investigators.
Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, were killed on Nov. 13.
'We do believe justice will be found through the criminal process,' Idaho police chief says
Law enforcement officials in Idaho spoke publicly for the first time Friday afternoon, commenting on the arrest of a suspect in the slaying of four University of Idaho students in November.
“These murders have shaken our community and no arrest will ever bring back these young students,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry told reporters during a news conference in Idaho.
“However, we do believe justice will be found through the criminal process.”
Kohberger is due back in court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday when he’ll opt to fight or waive extradition to Idaho, Latah County prosecuting attorney Bill Thompson said.
The prosecutor said investigators are still in need of more information and pleaded with Idaho residents to come forward with anything they know about Kohberger.
“This is not the end of this investigation,” Thompson said. “In fact this is a new beginning.”
Suspect was a criminal justice student at DeSales University
The man arrested Friday in the slaying of four students at the University of Idaho was recently a student himself studying criminal justice in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, was enrolled at DeSales University, a private Catholic school in Center Valley, the college said in a statement.
He received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate studies in criminal justice in June, the school said.
“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 statement said.
Kohberger was arrested Friday in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania.
A judge ordered his extradition to Idaho, court records showed.
Family of victim is 'relieved' suspect was caught
Goncalves, 21, was a senior at the University of Idaho and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority majoring in general studies.
"Now the journey though the criminal justice system begins," lawyer Shanon Gray said in a statement.
Police in Idaho and Pennsylvania and the FBI worked together to arrest suspect
Pennsylvania State Police assisted the Moscow Police Department in Idaho, the Idaho State Police and the FBI in the arrest of Bryan C. Kohberger, 28.
Kohberger was arrested at a home in Chestnuthill Township in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, state police said.
He was arraigned in the courtroom of Magisterial District Judge Michael Muth and was remanded to the Monroe County Correctional Facility pending extradition to Idaho, state police said.
Mother of slaying victim: 'I’m thankful to everybody for finding this creep.'
The mother of one of the four University of Idaho students killed in November told NBC News a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders with the arrest of a suspect in the slayings.
Cara Northington, mother of victim Xana Kernodle, said she learned of the arrest after waking up and speaking to a friend. All she has been able to think about is who would have killed her daughter and her friends as she continued to hold out hope that there would be a break in the case, she said.
“It’s been a nightmare. This whole thing has been a nightmare, literally,” she said. “But I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
She said she did not know the suspect but was relieved he was apprehended.
“A lot of the grief was not knowing who this was, knowing that whoever was responsible for that is still out there,” she said. “So yeah, this definitely takes a lot of the grief that we were experiencing off our shoulders.”
“It’s unreal,” Northington said. “I’m thankful to everybody for finding this creep.”
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger arrested in connection with the slayings of 4 University of Idaho students
NBC News has learned Bryan Christopher Kohberger has been detained in connection with the slayings of four University of Idaho students in November. Kohberger is being held in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Person linked to University of Idaho slayings is taken into custody
Police in Moscow, Idaho, have scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. PT, in which it is expected they will reveal more details about the November slayings that stunned the small college town.
The apprehension was made in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
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