Chilling new details have emerged about the slayings of four University of Idaho students last November. The students, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, were found dead on November 13 in the off-campus house shared by the three young women, along with two other female roommates (both of whom were home at the time of the murders but were unharmed). Suspect Bryan Kohberger was arrested last week at his parent’s house in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, was extradited back to Idaho yesterday, and, today, has been formally charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary with the intent to murder.
The Bryan Kohberger Affidavit is absolutely insane pic.twitter.com/hXSMNS1eOA
— Eric Spracklen🇺🇸 (@EricSpracklen) January 5, 2023
In charging Kohberger with first-degree murder, authorities released the Probable Cause Affidavit laying out the case against their suspect. The affidavit confirms some of the things web sleuths suspected, such as Kohberger stalking his victims ahead of the crime, but some new, terrifying details were released, particularly about what one of the two unharmed roommates experienced that night.
That roommate, identified in the affidavit as D.M., was apparently awakened around 4 am that morning by what she thought were sounds of her roommate, Kaylee, playing with her dog in an upstairs bedroom. A short time later, D.M. thought she heard Kaylee say “there’s someone here.” D.M. looked out her bedroom door upon hearing that but didn’t see anything. Per the affidavit:
D.M. stated she opened her door a second time when she heard what she thought was crying coming from Kernodle’s room. D.M. then said she heard a male voice say something to the effect of “it’s ok, I’m going to help you.”
As if this wasn’t scary enough, D.M. then encountered the suspect when she open her door for a third time after hearing the crying. She saw “a figure clad in black clothing and mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her.” She stood in a “frozen shock phase” as the suspect, described by D.M. as being male, athletically built with “bushy eyebrows,” walked past her and out the sliding glass door on the back of the house. She did not recognize the intruder and immediately locked herself in her room.
The affidavit also says that at the same time D.M. was encountering the suspect, a nearby security camera picked up the distorted sound of voices, possibly a whimper, followed by a loud thud. A dog was also heard barking.
Using security camera footage and the suspect’s cell phone data, authorities seem to have put together a solid timeline that places Kohberger near the crime scene, repeatedly circling back by the house in his white Hyundai Elantra. They also believe he drove past the house hours after the murders, presumably to see if a crime scene investigation was underway. A knife sheath was found next to one of the bodies and yielded DNA that matches the suspect.
Cable news has been all over this story for nearly two months and countless web sleuths set out to solve the crime, with local police often on the receiving end of criticisms that their investigation was taking too long and had gone cold. To their credit, the police seem to have followed their processes, done good old-fashioned detective work, and identified their suspect in a reasonable amount of time.
In time, more disturbing details are sure to come out about the crime and what the victims went through that night. The answers aren’t likely to bring comfort to their families, but, hopefully, the excellent police work will bring them justice and allow the healing to begin.