Knives, clothes, books seized from home of Idaho murder suspect
Mar 2, 2023, 9:48 AM | Updated: 11:11 am
(Photo by Ted S. Warren - Pool/Getty Images)
(CNN) — Court documents related to the investigation and arrest of the murder suspect in the fatal stabbings last year of four University of Idaho students show a cache of items was seized from Bryan Kohberger‘s parents’ Pennsylvania home where he was arrested.
Investigators took items that included knives, a cell phone, black gloves, black masks, laptops, dark-colored clothes and dark shoes, brown boots and New Balance shoes, an evidence log released Thursday shows. The knives included a Smith and Wesson pocket knife and a knife in a leather sheath.
Criminology books — including one titled, “criminal psychology” — and notebooks also were seized, along with a shop-vac and identifying documents, medical records, an AT&T bill and school-related paperwork, the log shows.
The revelations come after court documents unsealed Tuesday from Monroe County, Pennsylvania, showed a search warrant was executed at the home at 1:25 a.m. on December 30, following four days of law enforcement surveillance, the documents show.
Four “medical style” gloves, a silver flashlight, a black sweatshirt, black socks and a pair of size 13 Nike shoes were among the items taken by the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI, the documents released Tuesday state.
Also seized from Kohberger’s parents’ home was a white 2015 Hyundai Elantra he had used to drive, accompanied by his father, to his parents’ home for the holidays, the documents released Thursday show. The same type of vehicle was seen in surveillance footage near the Moscow, Idaho, home where the students were found dead.
Investigators essentially dismantled the vehicle, collecting parts, fiber and swabs for further examination, the search warrant documentation shows. Authorities did not elaborate on the nature of the swabs.
During the search, conducted just after 4 a.m. on Dec, 30, law enforcement officials seized the brake and gas pedals, floor mats, seats and seat cushions, headrests, a visor and seat belt. They also took items left in the car, including documents, receipts, gloves and hiking boots, the documents show.
Kohberger, 28, faces four counts of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20. The discovery of the bloody crime scene on Nov. 13 shattered the sense of security in the small college town and frayed the nerves of students and residents as the search for a suspect ensued.
Kohberger has yet to enter a plea and is being held without bail in the Latah County Jail in Idaho following his December arrest at his parents’ home. A court order prohibits the prosecution and defense from commenting beyond referencing the public records of the case.
A preliminary probable cause hearing is scheduled to begin June 26.
The December search and Kohberger’s arrest came almost seven weeks after the killings in Idaho. He had just finished his first semester as a PhD student in the criminal justice program at Washington State University in Pullman, about a 15-minute drive west of the Moscow crime scene.
White sedan led to focus on Kohberger
Authorities began to focus their investigation on Kohberger after he was determined to be the registered owner of a white Hyundai Elantra similar to one seen in surveillance footage near the crime scene, according to a probable cause affidavit released in January.
When investigators searched for his driver’s license information, they found it consistent with the description of a man dressed in black provided by a surviving roommate of the victims, the affidavit says, specifically noting his height, weight and bushy eyebrows.
The witness described the man as about 5-foot-10 or taller and not very muscular but athletically built with bushy eyebrows, the documents said.
Kohberger got a new license plate for his car five days after the killings, the affidavit said.
Other evidence listed in the affidavit included phone records showing Kohberger’s phone had been near the victims’ home at least a dozen times since June. Records also show the phone near the site of the killings hours later, between 9:12 a.m. and 9:21 a.m., the document says.
Additionally, trash authorities recovered from Kohberger’s family home revealed a DNA profile linked to DNA on a tan leather knife sheath found lying on the bed of one of the victims, the affidavit said. The DNA recovered from the trash is believed to be that of the biological father of the person whose DNA was found on the sheath, it said.