EXPLAINER: Idaho student murder case solved

An arrest was made in the stabbing of four University of Idaho students in November, a case that rocked the small college town and seemed to confound investigators for weeks.

Here’s a look at what’s known about the murder, and the latest developments.


A law enforcement official said Friday that authorities in Pennsylvania have arrested a suspect. Arrest papers filed in Monroe County Court say Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, is being held for extradition to Idaho on a first-degree murder warrant. A law enforcement official confirmed the arrest to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was unable to publicly discuss the details of the investigation before an expected official announcement. on Friday. PhD student of the same name is listed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, a short drive from the University of Idaho across the state line.


All four were friends and members of the university’s Greek system. Xana Kernodle, 20 years old, is a final year student studying marketing. She is from Post Falls, Idaho, and joins the Pi Beta Phi sorority on campus. She lived at the rental house with two other women who were stabbed, and she was dating Ethan Chapin, who visited the night of the murder.

Chapin, also 20 years old, is from Conway, Washington and is a triplet. His brother and sister also attended UI, and both Chapin and his brother were members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen are both 21 and friends who grew up together in northern Idaho. Mogen worked with Kernodle at a Greek restaurant in Moscow. She is also a member of Pi Beta Phi.

Goncalves is a senior in general studies, a member of the Alpha Africa sorority and is planning a trip to Europe next year.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE NIGHT AND morn of the attack?

Goncalves and Mogen went to a bar, stopped at a food truck, and took the bus home around 2 a.m. on November 13, according to a police schedule for the evening.

Police said Chapin and Kernodle stayed at Sigma Chi’s house not far away and returned to Kernodle’s at around 1:45 a.m.

Two other roommates who lived in the same house were also out that night, but returned home at 1 a.m., police said. They didn’t wake up until that morning.

After waking up, they called friends to the house because they thought that one of the victims found on the second floor was unconscious and did not regain consciousness. At 11:58 a.m., someone in the house called 911, using a roommate’s cell phone. Many spoke to the dispatcher before the police arrived.

Police found two of the victims on the second floor of a three-story home, and two on the third floor. A dog was also in the house, unharmed.

Autopsies revealed all four were likely asleep at the time of the attack, some had self-defense wounds and each had been stabbed multiple times. Police said there were no signs of sexual assault.


It is unclear whether the killer or the killers knew the victims. The police and the district attorney’s office have made confusing – and sometimes contradictory – statements.

Investigators said nothing appeared to have been stolen from the home.


Initially, police said there was no threat to the 25,000-strong community nestled in the rolling hills of Palouse, later retracting that statement. Many residents have been scared since the murder happened.

The University of Idaho has allowed students to switch to full distance learning.

The university has also hired an additional security company to help ensure campus safety. Students may require an escort while on campus.

Associated Press writer Mike Balsamo contributed from Washington


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