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Idaho murders: Suspect in student slayings seen multiple times wearing gloves, also placing trash bags outside Pennsylvania home, source says

Idaho murders: Suspect in student slayings seen multiple times wearing gloves, also placing trash bags outside Pennsylvania home, source says

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CNN

The a man accused of murder four University of Idaho students in November thoroughly cleaned the interior and exterior of his car, and he was also seen wearing surgical gloves several times before he was taken into custody, a law enforcement source told CNN.

28-year-old Brian Kochberger is currently the only suspect in the gruesome stabbings of students Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, who were found dead in their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13.

Kochberger, who was pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice at Washington State University at the time of the killings, “cleaned his car inside and out without missing an inch,” according to the law enforcement source.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was briefed on the observations made by investigators during a four-day surveillance that led to Koberger’s arrest at his family’s home in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30.

As Kohberger now remains behind bars in Idaho awaiting his Jan. 12 hearing, new details have emerged clarifying some of the suspect’s movements in the days leading up to his arrest.

A surveillance team assigned to Kohberger was tasked with two missions, according to multiple law enforcement sources: to keep an eye on Kohberger so they could arrest him as soon as a warrant was issued, and to try to obtain an item that would provided a DNA sample from Kohberger, which could then be compared to DNA evidence found at the crime scene.

According to the law enforcement source, Koberger was seen multiple times outside the home in Pennsylvania wearing surgical gloves.

In one instance before Kohberger’s arrest, authorities observed him leaving his family home around 4 a.m. and placing trash bags in neighbors’ trash cans, according to the source. At that point, agents removed trash from the Kochberger family’s trash cans and what was seen being placed in neighbors’ bins, the source said.

The recovered items were sent to the Idaho State Laboratory, according to the source.

Last Friday, a Pennsylvania State Police SWAT team entered the Koberger family’s home, breaking in the door and windows in what is known as a “dynamic entry,” a tactic used in rare cases to arrest “high-risk” suspects, the source added.

On Thursday, Kohberger made his first court appearance in Idaho after being booked into the Latah County Jail on Wednesday night after his extradition from Pennsylvania.

Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. He did not speak at the court hearing.

Authorities spent nearly two months investigating before they were able to publicly name a suspect, a task that drew national attention and shook the victims’ loved ones as well as the community – which had not registered a homicide in years.

To the public though view of the case remains inundated with questions. As of late Thursday, it remained unclear what motivated the killings. It’s also unclear how the suspect got into the house, after authorities said there were no signs of forced entry, or why two roommates who were inside the residence at the time of the killings survived the attacks.

Here’s how the investigators narrow your search two Kobergers:

  • DNA: Debris recovered from Kochberger’s family home revealed that the “DNA profile obtained from the trash” matched a brown leather knife sheath found “lying on the bed” of one of the victims, according to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday. DNA recovered from the trash “identified a male as the biological father” of the suspect whose DNA was found on the wrapper. “At least 99.9998% of the male population is expected to be excluded from being the suspect’s biological father,” the affidavit said.
  • Phone records: Authorities determined the suspect’s phone was near the victims’ home in Moscow, Idaho, at least a dozen times between June 2022 and the present, according to the affidavit. The records also reveal Koberger’s phone was near the crime scene hours after the murders that morning between 9:12 and 9:21 a.m., the document said. The murders were reported to authorities shortly before noon.
  • White Sedan: A Hyundai Elantra was seen near the victims’ home at the time of their murders. Washington State University officials identified a white Elantra and later learned it was registered to Kohberger. The same car was also found at the suspect’s family home in Pennsylvania when he was arrested last Friday. The suspect’s university is about a 10-minute drive from the Idaho crime scene.

One of two roommates who were not injured in the attacks, she said saw a masked man wearing black at the house on the morning of the murders, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Identified as DM in the court document, the roommate said she “heard crying” in the house that morning and also heard a male voice say, “It’s okay, I’ll help you.” DM said she then saw “a figure , wearing black clothing and a mask that covered the mouth and nose of the person walking toward her,” the affidavit continued.

“DM described the figure as 5′ 10″ or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows,” the affidavit said. “The man walked past DM as she stood in a ‘phase of frozen shock.’

“The man walked towards the rear sliding glass door. DM locked herself in her room after seeing the male,” the document said, adding that the female roommate did not recognize the male.


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