Murder In Idaho: Suspect in Custody

Taylor Rose, Staff Writer

The University of Idaho is a land-grant university with a culture of innovation and research. A recent, unfortunate, event has taken place within the university. As many may have heard, there was a homicide that took four students’ lives at the University of Idaho. The four students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle all lived off campus at a nearby residence in Moscow. Moscow is a college town with a population of around 25,800 people. The students lived in a three-floor, six-bedroom apartment with 2 other roommates who also attended the University of Idaho.

On the night of November 12th, the two best friends Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen had been hanging out downtown, while Xana Kernolde and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin were at the Sigma Chi house party on campus. Their other two (unharmed) roommates had returned home from their night out at about 1 am before the four friends. Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen had decided to get food before returning to the residence. The girls had ordered food at a nearby food truck around the time of 1:40 am on Sunday, November 13th. As they had been waiting for their food, a live stream of the food truck had shown that the girls had been chatting with each other and others close by while they waited.  After they had gotten their food they arrived back home at about 1:57 a.m., coming home to Chapin and Kernodle who had already arrived a few minutes earlier at around the time of 1:45 am. 

Little did the four students know a tragic event would take place within the next few hours. Ethan Chapin did not live at the residence but was staying over with his girlfriend Xana Kernolde. It’s believed that between 3 am and 4 am the four students were brutally killed in the house. It is said that the surviving roommates had been sleeping on the first floor, while the 4 victims had been on the second and third floors. 

It was said that on the morning of November 13th, a roommate had found one of the victims on the second floor unconscious and not waking up. They had called friends over to the residence because they thought the victim had just passed out. Around the time of 11:58 am, one of the roommates called 911 off their phone for their unconscious roommate, the police stated. However, the caller’s identity has not been released to the public. The police had shown up at the house and found the four victims on the second and third floors. The authorities had believed that no one in the house at the time of the call was involved in the murders but as of right now, the unharmed roommates are being questioned again.

The police had released that there was no sign of any damage or forced entry into the house. Limited information has been shared with the public since then. However, previously a few weeks ago there were no suspects that the public knew of. People had made accusations of what they thought had happened and who did it. Some speculations were aimed toward the two unharmed roommates, while others were directed at stalkers and ex-boyfriends. As time goes on, the public is learning more about what happened and is getting information provided by detectives on the case.

The Moscow Police Department has received just under 20,000 tips related to the Idaho University students. As information from the tips came in, police had come upon a white Hyundai Elantra that was seen in the area around the time of the murders and were trying to locate it. After a few dead ends, they tracked the vehicle in Pennsylvania where they found the owner of it. The police had traced the vehicle back to the murders making the owner of the car a suspect. Recently police put the owner, Bryan Kohberger, of the vehicle in custody as a suspect.

New pieces of information are being disclosed every day, people are speaking up. One of the roommates spoke up and gave a statement that was newly disclosed. She informed the police that she had heard what sounded like crying voices around the time of 4 am. The roommate had opened her bedroom door to see a man wearing all black with a piece of cloth hiding most of his face. He was on his way out the back door and the roommate shut her door and locked it. The roommate stated that she didn’t recognize the man and was “frozen in shock” when she saw him.

 Bryan Kohberger was attending Washington State University. He was a Ph.D. student and was a part of the department of criminal justice and criminology. As of January 4th, Bryan Kohberger was being held at Latch County Jail as he waited for his preliminary hearing on June 26th. The victims’ families are finally starting to seek hope in receiving justice for the precious lives that were lost. Every day new information is being released, however, this is what has been disclosed to the public so far.