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Bryan Kohberger Was Sifting Through Trash, Wearing Latex Gloves When Arrested For University of Idaho Murders

Bryan Kohberger was “wearing latex medical-type gloves and apparently was taking his personal trash and putting it into separate Ziploc baggies” when police arrested him for the University of Idaho Murders, a Pennsylvania DA says.

By Dorian Geiger
Suspect In University Of Idaho Students' Killings Arrested

Bryan Kohberger was allegedly rummaging through his garbage wearing latex gloves in his parents' Pennsylvania home when police arrested him late last year, officials said. 

The 28-year-old University of Idaho murders suspect was allegedly carefully sifting through trash in his parents’ kitchen when authorities took him into custody in December — which one prosecutor said was an apparent attempt to cover his tracks.

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Kohberger was “found awake in the kitchen area dressed in shorts and a shirt” when investigators stormed his parents' Albrightsville house on Dec. 30 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso told Leighton, Pennsylvania news channel BRC News13.

At the time, Kohberger was “wearing latex medical-type gloves and apparently was taking his personal trash and putting it into separate Ziploc baggies,” Mancuso added.

Bryan Kohberger sits with his attorney

Kohberger, 28, is facing four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, whose bodies were discovered in an off-campus home on Nov. 13. The four students had been stabbed to death.

The seized items referenced by Mancuso were previously documented in police search warrants, however, the prosecutor’s recent comments provide fresh context regarding exactly what Kohberger was allegedly doing at the exact moment police busted him.

Kohberger’s actions, prosecutors added, could help explain why days earlier, authorities had failed in attempting to obtain Kohberger’s DNA by searching through his family’s trash. Investigators had then-collected forensic evidence belonging to Kohberger’s family members, including his father, “but not from [Kohberger],” Mancuso theorized. 

Since the quadruple murder, the Pennsylvania prosecutor also speculated Kohberger had become savvy at obscuring his forensic footprint. 

“It could very well explain some of the other aspects of the case from Idaho, some of the lengths that a person would go to to avoid having their DNA left behind when they know or should’ve known that there was an investigation underway,” Mancuso added.

Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves

During the December search warrant of Kohberger’s home, authorities also seized a pair of his size 13 Nike shoes, a black Washington State University Cougars sweatshirt, his underwear, black socks and shorts and other items, court records show. Four medical-style gloves, a white T-shirt and a silver flashlight were also recovered by investigators. State police had previously petitioned the courts to allow troopers to carry out the raid at night.

A cheek swab that was performed on Kohberger on the night police arrested him, was also key in building the murder case against him, according to officials. Kohberger’s DNA obtained during the search warrant ultimately matched “the snap button for the sheath of the knife” that was left behind at the scene of the killings. The knife used in the killings hasn’t been recovered.

Kohberger is a former criminal justice graduate student at nearby Washington State University. He faces the death penalty if convicted in the murders of Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin. Kohberger didn’t know the four victims, according to law enforcement.

Investigators are also probing the possibility Kohberger could be behind in other unsolved killings in Pennsylvania.

His next court date is scheduled for June 26. Kohberger previously waived his right to a speedy trial. 

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