MOSCOW, Idaho — Police say DNA from a knife sheath left at the crime scene where four University of Idaho students were murdered ties suspect Bryan Kohberger to the crimes.
Investigators released new information about the crime and their investigation in a newly unsealed affidavit.
Among the new details:
- One of the surviving roommates spotted the suspect inside the house.
- Surveillance cameras tracked a Hyundai Elantra matching Kohberger's in Moscow around the time of the murders.
- A knife sheath was found at the scene. Police were able to obtain DNA from it.
- Police got another DNA sample from the Kohberger family's trash that matched the DNA on the sheath.
- Kohberger's cell phone was turned off or out of the range of cell phone towers at the time of the murders.
New timeline of students' murders
In the court documents, police give a clearer timeline and new details about the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kernodle in the early morning of Nov. 13, 2022. The new details lead investigators to believe the deaths occurred between 4:00 a.m. and 4:25 a.m.
Police say Kernodle received a DoorDash order at the house at approximately 4:00 a.m. Cell data also indicated that she was likely awake and using the TikTok app at 4:12 a.m.
Another student who lived in the house, referred to as D.M. in the court documents, told police that she was awoken at approximately 4:00 a.m. but what she said "sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog in one of the upstairs bedrooms."
A short time later, the roommate said she thought she heard Goncalves say something like, "there's someone here."
The roommate said she thought she hear crying coming from Kernodle's room and opened her door but didn't see anything. She then said she heard a male voice say something like, "it's ok, I'm going to help you."
At 4:17 a.m., a security camera in the area picked up distorted audio of what sounded like voices or a whimper, followed by a loud thud. A dog can also be heard barking. This camera was less than 50 feet away from Kernodle's bedroom.
The roommate opened her door a third time after she heard crying and "saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person's mouth and nose walking towards her."
She described the person as "as 5'10" or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows."
Court documents state the man walked past the roommate as she "stood in a 'frozen shock phase.'" The man then walked toward the back sliding glass door.
The roommate locked herself in her room.
Evidence found at the scene
When police arrived at the house they first found Kernoodle dead, laying on the floor. She had wounds that appeared to have been caused by an edged weapon. Police also found Chapin dead in the room.
In Goncalves' room police found a dog that belonged to her and an ex-boyfriend.
Through a shared bathroom, police entered Mogen's bedroom and found both Mogen and Goncalves dead with visible stab wounds.
Next to the victims' police found "what appeared to be a tan leather knife sheath laying on the bed next to Mogen's right side."
"The sheath was later processed and had "Ka-Bar" 'USMC" and the United States Marine Corps eagle globe and anchor insignia stamped on the outside of it. The Idaho state lab later located a single source of male DNA left on the button snap of the knife sheath."
Police also found a shoeprint that showed a diamond-shaped pattern (similar to a Vans-type shoe) just outside the door of the roommate who reported spotting the suspect.
Search for the white Hyundai Elantra
A review of camera footage showed a white sedan in the area. It was spotted several times including at approximately 4:04 a.m. when it appears to unsuccessfully park in front of the victims' house on King Road. It eventually makes a three-point turn and heads down a different road.
The vehicle is seen leaving the area of the house at approximately 4:20 a.m. at a high rate of speed.
Investigators later got access to video footage on the Washington State University campus where Kohberger lived. A review of that video showed a white sedan leaving an area on southeast Nevada Street at northeast Stadium Way at approximately 2:44 a.m. 9 minutes later the vehicle was seen driving southeast on Nevada Street in Pullman toward SR 270 which connects to Moscow, Idaho.
The vehicle is then seen on five cameras around 5:25 a.m. returning to Pullman and the WSU campus.
On Nov. 25, Moscow Police asked law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for a white Hyundai Elantra. Four days later a WSU officer did a search for white Elantras registered at the school. The query turned up a vehicle registered to Kohberger with Pennsylvania license plates.
Cell phone data
Police then obtained the cell phone number for Kohberger and started to check its data. The cell did not report to a network during the timeframe of the murders and police speculate it could have been in an area without service or turned off.
After obtaining a search warrant, police received historical records of the phone. Police were working to "determine if Kohberger stalked any of the victims in this case."
The records showed that the cell phone was in the area of the victims' house "on at least twelve occasions prior to November 13, 2022. All of these occasions, except for one, occurred in the late evening and early morning hours."
On Dec. 27, Pennsylvania agents recovered trash from outside his family home. The evidence was sent to the Idaho State Lab for testing.
The next day, the lab reported that a DNA profile from the trash was a match.
"At least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded" from the results, the lab concluded.