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Key takeaways from the court documents in the case against Bryan Kohberger and some remaining questions

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CNN

DNA was reportedly found on a knife scabbard recovered from the scene of the murder.

A housemate described a masked figure with “bushy eyebrows”.

Phone records showed the suspect had been near the victims’ residence numerous times in the months leading up to the murders.

Nearly two months after the murder of four University of Idaho students captivated the country and struck fear in the small community of Moscow, Idaho, an affidavit released Thursday offered insight into the work of investigation that identified Bryan Kohberger as a suspect.

The 28-year-old criminal justice doctoral student was extradited to Idaho on Wednesday from his home state of Pennsylvania. Faced with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary, Kohberger did not plead guilty in his first court appearance on Thursday.

The suspect was arrested in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30, nearly seven weeks after 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, were found fatally stabbed in an off-campus house.

Here are the key takeaways from the court documents — which include the probable cause affidavit used to support Kohberger’s arrest and obtain a warrant — and some remaining questions.

Trash recovered from Kohberger’s family home in Pennsylvania late last month and sent to the Idaho State Laboratory for DNA testing revealed that the “DNA profile obtained from the trash” matched a beige leather knife sheath found “lying on the bed” of one of the victims, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The DNA in the bin “identified a man as not being ruled out as the biological father” of the suspect whose DNA was found on the scabbard.

“At least 99.9998% of the male population should be excluded from the possibility of being the biological father of the suspect,” the affidavit states.

One of the two roommates who were not injured told investigators she saw a masked man dressed in black in the house the morning of the attack, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Identified in the document as a DM, the roommate said she “heard crying” in the house that morning and a male voice saying, “It’s okay, I’ll help you.” »

DM told investigators she saw a “figure dressed in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her,” according to the affidavit.

“DM described the character as 5’10” or taller, a not very muscular, but athletic male with bushy eyebrows,” the affidavit states. “The male walked past DM as she stood in ‘shock frozen “.”

“The man headed for the rear sliding glass door. DM locked herself in her room after seeing the man,” according to the document, which indicates that the roommate did not recognize the man.

Authorities reviewed local surveillance footage and were drawn to a white sedan, later identified as a Hyundai Elantra, according to the affidavit.

The vehicle was seen in the area around the house where the murders took place.

By November 25, local law enforcement had been notified to be on the lookout for the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

A few days later, officers from nearby Washington State University, where the suspect was a criminal justice doctoral student, identified a white Elantra and discovered that it was registered with Kohberger.

The information on Kohberger’s driver’s license matched the description the uninjured roommate gave to investigators, according to the affidavit.

The document specifically noted Kohberger’s height and weight — 6 feet and 185 pounds — and that he had bushy eyebrows.

Kohberger received a new license plate for his Elantra five days after the murders, the affidavit says, citing records from the Washington State Licensing Department.

At the time of Kohberger’s arrest last week, a white Elantra was found at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania, according to Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, who said Kohberger had gone home for the holidays. .

Phone records show Kohberger’s phone was near the victims’ residence at least 12 times since June, according to court documents.

“All but one of these occasions occurred late at night and early in the morning on their respective days.”

Additionally, records show Kohberger’s phone was near the murder scene – 1122 King Road – between 9:12 a.m. and 9:21 a.m. — hours after the murders, according to court documents.

A review of phone records showed that Kohberger’s phone left his home around 9 a.m. and went to Moscow, according to the affidavit, and the same phone returned “in the area of ​​the Kohberger residence. .. arriving in the area around 9:32 a.m.”

Kohberger applied for an internship with the Pullman Police Department in Washington in the fall of 2022, court documents show.

“According to records provided by a member of the Pullman Police Department interview panel, we learned that Kohberger’s prior education included undergraduate degrees in psychology and cloud-based forensics,” according to an affidavit.

“These recordings also showed that Kohberger wrote an essay when he applied for an internship with the Pullman Police Department in the fall of 2022. Kohberger wrote in his essay that he wanted to help rural law enforcement to better collect and analyze technological data in public security operations”.

Almost two months after the killings, however, a number of questions remain.

It’s unclear why the uninjured housemate didn’t immediately call 911, or why the housemates were spared.

The motive for the crime also remains a mystery and police said they are still looking for the murder weapon.

Documents released Thursday do not indicate whether Kohberger had another reason for being in the area at the time of the killings.

Why was Kohberger not arrested until more than six weeks after the victims were found dead?

And authorities have not said publicly whether Kohberger knew any of the victims.

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