Tragedy in the gem state

Tragedy in the gem state

The University of Idaho faced the tragic loss of four students on Nov. 12, 2022. Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylee Goncalves were found murdered inside of their off-campus house, along with Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin. Two other roommates were also present inside the house at the time but were left unharmed.  

While one survivor claimed not to have heard anything, the second roommate reported to police that she hid in her room after overhearing suspicious activity around 4 a.m. The roommate (whose identity has not been released to the press) stated that she opened her bedroom door to crying sounds, which is when the suspect walked past her and out the house’s sliding door as he exited. The witness’s description matched Bryan Kohberger’s physical characteristics, who was arrested as a primary suspect in Dec. 2022.  

“Though a lot of people have been saying the roommate’s account of the murder sounds suspicious, I think that she just went into shock after seeing the murderer. She went through something that must have been traumatic and terrible to witness that night,” Blake Nash, senior, said. 

Kohberger is a 28-year-old student at Washington State University where he is studying to receive his Ph.D. in criminology. Around the time of the break-in, neighborhood security footage shows a white Hyundia Elantara driving past the murder scene multiple times. It was also seen speeding away at 4:20 a.m., after the victims were slain inside their home. Kohberger’s car matches the description of the one seen near the victim’s residence. The vehicle led police to arrest Kohberger in his family home in Pennsylvania where he was suspected of having fled to from Idaho.  

“It makes you wonder how horrible people can be. What was done to those college kids in Idaho was heartbreaking,” Neal O’Connor, junior, said.  

Further evidence, including DNA samples forensics took from trash in his home and phone records placing him in the crime radius on Nov. 12, aided police in building their case against him. His public defender, Jason LaBar, has stated that Kohberger says he “looks forward to being exonerated,” denying any involvement. The murder weapon, which appears to be a knife due to the sheath that was left at the murder scene, has not yet been located. No possible motive has been discovered either.  

“I read on various sites that friends of the victim and suspect said that he had been obsessing over the girls and wanted them for himself as he heard they were moving. Maybe committing those murders was his way of keeping them there, and the boyfriend was just a threat. Either way, it was absolutely brutal to hear [that] happen,” Ansley Bruce, senior, said.  

Updates on Kohberger’s trial can be found on CNN. Many other news sites have posted memorials in the victims’ honor as well as their families’.