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Arrest made in murders of four University of Idaho students

Investigators have so far declined to say what led them to the suspect or what connection he had with the students, who were stabbed while they slept nearly two months ago.

(CN) — Pennsylvania state police have arrested a suspect in the slaying of four University of Idaho students, brutal murders that terrorized a college town and stumped local police for nearly two months.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was taken into custody in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, late Thursday evening in connection to the investigation of four University of Idaho students that were stabbed to death in the early morning of Nov. 13, according to police officials. Kohberger is awaiting extradition to Idaho.

Records show Kohberger, who is originally from Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, was a graduate teaching assistant studying criminology and criminal justice at Washington State University, just a short drive away from Moscow.

Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were stabbed multiple times while they slept in their off-campus home on a Sunday morning. Reports and information provided by police show that earlier that evening Chapin and Kernodle were at a party at a fraternity across the street, while Mogen and Goncalves were at a nearby bar before stopping to eat at a food truck. All of the victims arrived home at around 1:45 a.m., police say.

The four students were found close to noon later that day. Two other female roommates were living in the house at the time, but were unharmed.

The arrest comes after the Moscow Police Department worked with the Pennsylvania state police force and reportedly after an FBI surveillance team from Philadelphia had been tracking Kohberger for days leading up to the arrest. He was taken into custody on an active arrest warrant for first degree murder.

The murders shocked the otherwise quiet Idaho town that had not reported a murder in several years, but as the weeks passed, police maintained the case was solvable. Perhaps the largest lead available to the public at the time was their search for a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra with an unknown license plate that was seen near the home at the time of the murders.

Police say they have not located a weapon connected to the crime but have recovered a Hyundai Elantra. Police asked the public to continue sending in tips and information while investigators continue putting together a more detailed picture on the murders and build the case against Kohberger.

Police said during Friday’s press conference that they have already received thousands of tips and thanked the public and the press for helping to spread awareness of the grisly killings. They declined to say if any of those thousands of tips helped point police in the direction of Kohberger or what information led to his arrest.

During a press conference Friday afternoon, police declined to confirm or answer key questions regarding motive or any connection Kohberger may have had with the victims. They are currently waiting on Kohberger’s decision to voluntarily return to Idaho or if Idaho will have to begin extradition proceedings.  

Police confirmed the suspect has made an initial appearance before a Pennsylvania judge and is currently being held without bond. Once Kohberger has returned to Idaho, police said he will be held in the state without bond as well.

It was also revealed that cleanup of the house where the murders took place in was stopped on Friday following a request from the court and the public should still expect to see some police presence in the area during the near future.

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson revealed during the press conference that a criminal complaint was filed in Latah County on Thursday against Kohberger, but that certain documents will remain sealed until Kohberger is on Idaho soil.

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