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Suspect arrested in Pa. in murders of 4 University of Idaho students

Idaho murderer suspect tracked down in Pennsylvania
Idaho murderer suspect tracked down in Pennsylvania 03:44

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A suspect in the killings of four University of Idaho students was arrested in northeastern Pennsylvania Friday. 

Court records showed Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was in custody in the Monroe County Correctional Facility awaiting extradition.

A source close to the case tells CBS3 Philadelphia-based FBI agents and local investigators have been tracking Kohberger for the past four days in Monroe County where the white Hyundai Elantra associated with the crime scene is registered. The source also says that the DNA obtained in Idaho matches Kohberger's DNA.

Pennsylvania State Police, working with the FBI, made the arrest this morning in Chestnuthill Township, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in a court in Monroe County. According to that document, Kohberger was taken in on a warrant for first-degree murder filed by the Moscow Police Department and Latah County Prosecutor's Office in Idaho.

The victims, identified by CBS News as Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, were found dead on Sunday, Nov. 13 after a 911 call to police for an unconscious person. Officials had earlier described the murder weapon as a large fixed-blade knife.

According to CBS News, a student with the same name as Kohberger is listed on Washington State University's website as a Ph.D. student in the department of criminal justice and criminology at the school's campus in Pullman, Washington. Pullman is about 15 minutes from Moscow, Idaho.

Kohberger received a bachelor's degree from DeSales University in Pennsylvania in 2020 and completed graduate studies there in June 2022, university spokesperson Carolyn Steigleman said in an emailed statement.

"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families during this difficult time," the statement said.

Officials give update on arrested suspect in murders of 4 University of Idaho students 25:01

The Moscow Police Department in Idaho held a news conference Friday at 1 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) to announce developments in the investigation. You can watch it in the player above.

University of Idaho victims
Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed Sunday, November 13, 2022 off campus at the University of Idaho. Obtained by CNN

Mogen and Goncalves were both 21-year-old seniors at Idaho, and were best friends. The two had been at a downtown bar called The Corner Club that night and stopped at a food truck.

Kernodle, 20, was a junior and dating 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, a freshman. The two had attended a party earlier at the campus house of Sigma Chi, where Chapin was a member.

During the course of the investigation, police said they have fielded more than 16,500 tips related to the slayings, as well as reviewed more than 113 pieces of physical evidence from the home, "approximately 4,000 photographs" and "multiple" 3-D scans that crime scene investigators took, and had conducted "over 250 interviews." They had initially seized three dumpsters and five cars from the crime scene, but had announced earlier this month they would start returning some of the victims' belongings to their families.

"We do have a lot of information, and we are specifically keeping that information safe. We're not releasing specific details because we do not want to compromise this investigation," Moscow Police Capt. Roger Lanier said last week. "It's what we must do. We owe that to the families and we owe that to the victims. We want more than just an arrest. We want a conviction."

Early on, police had said they did not believe a surviving roommate or the friends who had called 911 had been involved in the killings. They also said they cleared another person, a former sixth roommate who had moved out of the house at the beginning of the school year, and a few other people who had encountered some of the students the prior evening, such as the person who drove Goncalves and Mogen home at the end of the evening.

Rumors and speculation have swirled about the case, circulating online via social media and TikTok, which law enforcement called "a huge distraction."

"Tracking down rumors and quelling rumors about specific individuals or specific events that may or may not have happened is a huge distraction for investigators and oftentimes is the result of social media propagation. And it is very, very frustrating to investigators and hard to stay on track," Lanier said last week.

An extradition hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Monroe County courthouse.  

CBS News' Pat Milton contributed reporting.

Search for suspect in 4 Idaho murders comes to end 01:29
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