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Cell Phones, Cameras, DNA: How Police Arrested Student Murder Suspect in Idaho Idaho

Criminology student Brian Coberger seemed surprisingly indifferent to modern investigative methods.

Suspect murdered four friends at college IdahoStabbed repeatedly with a large knife in bed. A website that pitched a match with Coberger’s family.

But despite years of studying police methods, the 28-year-old left behind evidence of allegedly sneaking up on and attacking his victims, according to a court statement. He made several decisions, they claim, including turning off his cell phone during the murder, which only heightened suspicion that he was the killer. , hours after the murder, Koberger reportedly returned to the scene of the crime.

But even as police claimed to have caught the perpetrators and charged Kohberger with four counts of first-degree murder, key questions remained unanswered. Was there a connection between a criminal justice student’s interest in a serial killer and the murders? Why did you wait hours to do this?

The horrific stabbing to death of four young students in their home in Moscow, Idaho’s westernmost city, in the early hours of November 13, shocked America and marked the deadliest crime in Idaho’s history. sparked one of the investigations. Dozens of FBI agents.

The coroner’s report said 21-year-old Cary Goncalves and Madison Morgen were stabbed repeatedly with long knives when they were in the same bed on the third floor.

“They have been friends since sixth grade,” said Steve, Goncalves’ father. told Candlelight Basil Over 1,000 for my daughter. “Every day they did their homework together, they came home together, they shared everything, and finally they died together in the same room, in the same bed. And it’s a shame, And it hurts.”

Zana Carnold and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were sleeping downstairs when Coberger allegedly burst in and killed the two, 20-year-olds, police say. A photograph taken hours before his death shows the four students laughing together, with Morgen sitting on Gonclaves’ shoulder and Chapin with his arm around Carnoldle.

Incredibly, two other students, Bethany Funk and Dylan Mortensen, stayed home unharmed after Mortensen encountered the killer as he exited the building.

Mortensen told police he woke up around 4 a.m. to hear noises upstairs. She thought it was one of the housemates playing with her dog, but she heard one of the women say, “There’s someone here.”

The student looked out of the bedroom and could see nothing. After a while, I heard a voice like crying, and the man said, “It’s okay, I’ll help you.” The security cameras in the house next door picked up crying, loud noises, and a dog barking.

Mortensen looked out of his bedroom again, this time to see a man dressed in black with his nose and mouth covered like a ski mask. She explained that his eyebrows were bushy.

The student told police she was standing in “frozen shock” when the killer walked past her and out the back door, according to a court affidavit. trapped in

That leaves one of the great mysteries of the case. Why didn’t Mortensen or Funke call the police right away? It took nearly another eight hours before one of them called 911 and asked for help from an “unconscious person.”

Ultimately, more than 60 FBI agents were called in to help investigate the killing. However, it was initially entrusted to the Moscow police. One of his officers, Corporal Brett Payne, said in a statement that King arrived at his road residence around 4:00 p.m.

“When I entered this bedroom, I saw two women in the single bed in the room. Both Goncalves and Mogen died from visible stab wounds,” he said.

Brian Kohberger, who has been charged with four counts of murder, will appear in court on Thursday. Photo: Ted S Warren/Zuma/Rex/Shutterstock

Payne found important evidence that the killer was sure to bring with him.

“I noticed what appeared to be a tan leather knife sheath lying on the bed next to Morgen’s right side.”

Police sent the scabbard to the state crime lab.

Meanwhile, detectives scrutinized video footage from cameras in the area and spotted a white Hyundai Elantra passing the house three times before stopping on the fourth pass just after 4:00 am. According to Payne, the car left “at high speed” after 16 minutes.

No vehicle number was recorded in the video footage, and area police officers were told to keep looking for a vehicle matching Hyundai’s description. Two weeks after the murder he drove across the border from Moscow, where he was 15 minutes from Pullman when police found the car. It was parked outside the student residence at Washington State University Coburger.

When detectives saw his driver’s license photo, they noticed that his eyebrows were bushy.

Investigators were also interested in Coberger’s educational background. He holds a master’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Desales College, a Catholic institution in his home state. pennsylvania,In summer. There he studied with forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland, whose book included the death of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Dennis Rader (BTK, or “Bind, Torture, Kill”). It contains a description of a lengthy exchange with a murderer.

In the fall, Coberger received his Ph.D. Criminal Justice and Criminology Department in Washington state. His fellow students said he took a particular interest in serial killers.

But Koberger was also interested in the more mundane aspects of police work. Shortly after starting his course at Pullman, he applied for an internship at the local police station. This is the same police station that is now part of the murder investigation, and said it was interested in helping local police departments collect and analyze data.

Police also noted that Coberger had returned to class after the killing.new york post report He said he sat quietly while discussing the murders in Moscow among his fellow students.

Police identified the vehicle but did not seize it. In December, Kohberger’s father drove out with his son to return to his parents’ home in Pennsylvania in the same car.The pair were suspended twice by the Indiana State Police for minor driving violations on the same day. body camera video It shows Coberger in the driver’s seat with his father next to him.

Meanwhile, FBI agents examined Coberger’s cell phone records and found that he had been turned off just before the attack. At 4:48 am the phone started working again on the road from Moscow.

Records indicate that Coberger had been in the area near his home at least a dozen times in the months prior to the attack, usually in the early morning or late evening. Investigators said he was “monitoring King Road residents to see if they had contact with the victim’s associates before or after the crime.”

There was one more detail that struck investigators. Their suspects apparently returned to the vicinity of the crime scene about five hours later before the police were called.

The public was not told anything about this, and the seemingly slow pace of the investigation irritated the victims’ parents. I began to openly question whether I would be able to carry out the mission. Fearing that a serial killer was on the run, some students left town as the murder mystery deepened.

But away from the public eye, investigators were convinced they were getting close to their man.

A lab in Idaho found a DNA sample from the sheath and sent it to the FBI’s Division of Genetics. The FBI searched public databases until a match led to his Kohberger family.

On December 27, undercover agents seized trash from a family’s home in Chestnut Hill Township, Pennsylvania, looking for matching DNA. The FBI lab matched Coberger’s father and knife sheath samples to his 99.98%.

Undercover agents watched the suspect for days until police broke into Coberger’s home through windows and doors at 1:45 a.m. on December 30 and arrested him.

In a courtroom in Moscow on Thursday, Koberger said little other than admitting he could face the death penalty if convicted. The defendant’s attorney said his client “looks forward to being acquitted.”

Victims’ families, like the rest of America, are now waiting for answers to all their biggest questions.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/08/idaho-murders-police-suspect-killings Cell Phones, Cameras, DNA: How Police Arrested Student Murder Suspect in Idaho Idaho

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