STROUDSBURG, Pa. (PIX11/AP) — Authorities in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania arrested a suspect in the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death in their beds more than a month ago, law enforcement officials confirmed on Friday.
Chief James Fry of the police department of Moscow, Idaho, where the University of Idaho is located, joined Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson and other law enforcement officials on Friday afternoon. They formally announced the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, 28, the main suspect in the case.
“This is not the end of the investigation,” said Thompson. “Please ask anyone who knows about this individual to come forward.” The killings initially mystified law enforcement and shook the small town of Moscow, Idaho, a farming community of about 25,000 people that had not had a murder for five years. Fears of a repeat attack prompted nearly half of the University of Idaho’s over 11,000 students to leave the city and switch to online classes.
Arrest paperwork filed in Monroe County Court said Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was being held for extradition to Idaho on a warrant for first-degree murder.
Idaho officials confirmed on Friday that Kohberger was being charged with four counts of first-degree murder. In addition, one count of burglary related to his forceful entry into the rental home at 1122 King Road in Moscow, Idaho, where the Idaho students — Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20 — were stabbed to death sometime in the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Investigators was unable to name a suspect or locate a murder weapon for weeks.
They also said that Kohberger was a Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, about six miles from the University of Idaho, across the line between the two states.
But the case broke open after law enforcement asked the public for help finding a white Hyundai Elantra sedan seen near the home around the time of the killings. The Moscow Police Department requested on Dec. 7 and, by the next day, had to direct tips to a special FBI call center because so many were coming in. By mid-December, investigators were working through nearly 12,000 tips and had identified more than 22,000 vehicles matching that make and model.
On Friday, Police Chief James Fry said that the tips seemed to have advanced the investigation, even though there is much more work.
“We are still looking for the weapon, and we have found an Elantra,” Chief Fry said.
Last month, investigators said they were trying to find a white Hyundai Elantra in relation to the case. It had been seen near the murder scene at the time of the crimes.
Autopsies showed all four victims were likely asleep when they were attacked. Some had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault, police said.
Kohberger is scheduled to have an extradition hearing on Tuesday in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.