(CNN) — The man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in November had thoroughly cleaned the interior and exterior of his vehicle and was also seen wearing surgical gloves on multiple occasions before being taken into custody, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, is currently the sole suspect in the gruesome stabbings of students Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, who were found dead inside his off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13.
Kohberger, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in criminal justice at Washington State University at the time of the murders, “wiped down his car, inside and out, without skipping an inch,” according to the police source.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was briefed on observations made by investigators during the four days of surveillance that led to Kohberger’s arrest at the family’s Pennsylvania home on December 30.
As Kohberger remains behind bars in Idaho awaiting a hearing on his status on January 12, 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 had two missions, according to multiple law enforcement sources: keeping tabs on Kohberger so he could be detained as soon as a warrant was issued, and trying to obtain an item that would allow a DNA sample of Kohberger to be obtained, which could then be matched against DNA evidence found at the crime scene.
According to the police source, Kohberger was seen several times outside the Pennsylvania home wearing surgical gloves.
On one occasion prior to Kohberger’s arrest, authorities observed him leaving his family home around 4 a.m. and depositing garbage bags in neighbors’ dumpsters, according to the source. At that time, agents recovered trash from the Kohberger family’s storage bins and what he was observed placing in neighbors’ dumpsters, 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 Kohberger family home, breaking down the door and windows in what is known as “dynamic entry,” a tactic used in rare cases to detain suspects. “high risk,” added the source.
Kohberger made his initial court appearance in Idaho on Thursday after he was booked into the Latah County Jail Wednesday night following his extradition from Pennsylvania.
Kohberger is charged with four counts of first degree murder and one count of robbery. He did not plead guilty at the hearing.
Victim’s father says suspect “was hunting them”
Steve Goncalves, whose daughter Kaylee was among those killed, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto in an interview that aired Friday morning that he has no reason to think his daughter was the target of the particular killer.
“No one understands exactly why, but he was stalking them, he was hunting them,” Goncalves said. “He was a person looking for an opportunity and it just so happened that he went to that house. And that’s hard to accept.”
“She had her phone next to her and she couldn’t call 911. So it was just girls who went to sleep that night and a wimp, you know, a hunter who went out and chose his little opponent who was girls, that’s probably why the house was the target.”
“None of these girls deserved this,” Goncalves said. “The real problem we have is that we have an individual who thought it was okay to attack other human beings. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”
He added: “I’d be a bit surprised if there wasn’t a clearer point of contact that would suggest he was more interested in one or two of the people than the others.”
Goncalves was in the room for Kohberger’s appearance.
“He knows I want him to look me in the eye. So he didn’t. He didn’t give me that chance,” Goncalves said. “He is afraid to look me in the eye and begin to understand what is about to happen to him. He has chosen the wrong family. We are not afraid of conflict. We are not going to run. We are going for him.”
The evidence against the suspect
Authorities spent nearly two months investigating before being able to publicly name a suspect, a task that garnered national attention and shocked loved ones of the victims, as well as the community, which had not recorded a murder in years.
Still, public opinion on the case remains plagued with questions. As of late Thursday, it remained unclear what prompted the killings. It’s also unclear how the suspect got into the home after authorities said there were no signs of forced entry, or why two female housemates who were inside the residence at the time of the slayings survived the attacks. attacks.
Here’s how the researchers narrowed the search to Kohberger:
- DNA: Trash recovered from Kohberger’s family home revealed that the “trash DNA profile” was linked to DNA from a brown leather knife sheath found “on the bed” of one of the victims, according to a statement. sworn probable cause released Thursday. DNA recovered from the trash is believed to be that of the biological father of the person whose DNA was found in the case, according to the affidavit.
- Telephone records: Authorities discovered that 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 that Kohberger’s phone was near the crime scene hours after the murders that morning, between 9:12 and 9:21, the document says. The killings were not reported to authorities until just before noon.
- A white sedan: a Hyundai Elantra was seen near the victims’ home around the time of their murders. Washington State University agents 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 college is about a 10-minute drive from the Idaho crime scene.
A housemate reveals that she heard crying the day of the attacks
One of the two housemates who were not injured in the attacks said she saw a masked man dressed in black inside the house the morning of the murders, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Identified as DM in the court document, the woman said she “heard crying” in the house that morning and also heard a man’s voice saying, “Calm down, I’m going to help you.” DM said that she then saw a “figure dressed in black clothing and a mask covering the mouth and nose of the person walking towards her,” the affidavit continues.
“DM described the figure as a male 5’7″ or taller, not heavily muscled, but with an athletic build and bushy eyebrows,” the statement read. The man walked past DM while she was in “frozen shock phase”.
“The man walked to the rear sliding glass door. DM locked himself in his room after seeing the man,” the document says, adding that he did not recognize the man.