Idaho murders update: Bryan Kohberger sent gushing email to police chief months before student stabbings

Bryan Kohberger appears in court in Idaho for the first time

Bryan Kohberger sent a gushing email to a local police chief months before he allegedly murdered four University of Idaho students in a brutal attack in Moscow, Idaho, it has been revealed.

The 28-year-old PhD student applied for a research assistant position in public safety with the Pullman Police Department in Washington in early 2022 and was interviewed by Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins for the position.

After the 12 April meeting, Mr Kohberger sent an email to the police chief saying it was “a great pleasure to meet with you today and share my thoughts and excitement regarding the research assistantship for public safety”.

It is unclear if Mr Kohberger was offered the position, which was due to start in August.

Months later, on November 13, the 28-year-old allegedly stabbed to death students Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

He is facing the death penalty on charges of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.

Court documents unsealed last week showed that 15 items – including hairs, receipts, a disposable glove and items with red stains – were recovered from his home in Pullman, Washington, during a search in late December.

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Kaylee Goncalves previously called in missing person sighting to same police officer who then investigated her murder

True crime follower Kaylee Goncalves previously called in a potential missing person sighting and spoke to one of the same police officers who then investigated her murder, it has been revealed.

In September 2021, Sharon Archer, a 62-year-old woman who lived in Goncalves’ hometown of Coeur d’Alene, went missing.

An Idaho State Police incident report, seen by Fox News Digital, reveals that Goncalves called police on 5 October to report a sighting of a woman matching Archer’s description at the Walmart in Moscow.

“Kaylee told me the female’s name is possibly Sharon Archer,” Sgt. Dustin Blaker wrote in the report.

“Kaylee told me the female was staring at her and her boyfriend when they were in the store and as they checked out.”

Investigators did not find Archer and it remains unclear if the woman was indeed her. She was found dead inside a submerged vehicle about three weeks later.

Sgt Baker later became a lead investigator in Goncalves’ murder case.

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 13:45

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How strong is the case against Bryan Kohberger?

Duncan Levin, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office who has no official connection to the Idaho murders case, spoke to The Independent about the strength of the criminal case and what to expect next as it makes it way through the courts.

Based on the “damning” evidence outlined in the probable cause affidavit, Mr Levin said that the prosecution has a “very strong case” against Bryan Kohberger.

“It’s an exceedingly detailed likely cause affidavit and frankly it’s pretty surprising that the prosecutors would include the level of detail they included in it,” said the attorney at Levin & Associates who has represented clients including Harvey Weinstein and Anna Delvey.

He added: “I have to say looking at it it is a perfect case of where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

“There’s so many damning pieces of evidence. The information here all points to Kohberger as the only person to have committed the crime.”

The suspect – who is presumed innocent until proven guilty – was tied to the murders through DNA evidence, cellphone data, an eyewitness account and his white Hyundai Elantra, according to the bombshell probable cause affidavit released earlier this month. The DNA evidence in particular is one “very, very important piece of information,” Mr Levin said.

The affidavit revealed for the first time that a knife sheath had been left behind at the crime scene on the bed next to the bodies of Mogen and Goncalves. DNA found on the sheath was matched to Mr Kohberger, using DNA obtained from trash taken from his parents’ home and a genetic genealogy database, the affidavit states.

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 12:59

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Bryan Kohberger is believed to have followed the three female slain University of Idaho victims on Instagram

Bryan Kohberger is believed to have followed all three slain female University of Idaho victims on Instagram and “repeatedly” messaged one of them prior to the brutal stabbings, according to a report.

A family investigator with the case told People that the 28-year-old criminology PhD student followed the accounts of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle but neither of them followed him back.

Then, in late-October – around two weeks before the November 13 slayings – Mr Kohberger allegedly messaged one of the victims “repeatedly” on the social media platform, the source said.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the story:

Rachel SharpJanuary 24, 2023 12:15 PM

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Kaylee Goncalves was no longer living at student home when she was killed

Idaho murders victim Kaylee Goncalves had already moved out of the home where she and three other students were brutally murdered – but tragically returned to Moscow to visit her best friend that fateful weekend.

Goncalves’ parents told NBC’s “Dateline” that the 21-year-old had recently left the student rental property on King Road, Moscow, ahead of her upcoming graduation that December and a move to Austin, Texas, for a new job at a tech firm.

Then, on the weekend of November 12, she decided to go back to the college town to visit her best friend Madison Mogen.

The two young women had been inseparable since meeting in the sixth grade and Goncalves wanted to show Mogen her new Range Rover that she had saved up for and bought.

The pair also planned to go to a party together on the night of Saturday 12 November.

“These girls were best friends since sixth grade, like inseparable,” said Goncalves’ mother Kristi Goncalves.

“That was the last time that I saw Kaylee.”

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 11:45

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Bryan Kohberger met local police chief and sent him gushing email – months before murders

Bryan Kohberger sent a gushing email to a local police chief months before he allegedly murdered four University of Idaho students in a brutal attack in Moscow, Idaho, it has been revealed.

The 28-year-old PhD student applied for a research assistant position in public safety with the Pullman Police Department in Washington in early 2022 and was interviewed by Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins for the position.

After the 12 April meeting, Mr Kohberger sent an email to the police chief saying it was “a great pleasure to meet with you today and share my thoughts and excitement regarding the research assistantship for public safety”.

Mr Jenkins replied: “Great to meet and talk to you as well.”

It is unclear if Mr Kohberger was offered the position, which was due to start in August.

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 11:06

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What was found inside Bryan Kohberger’s home:

Last week, police in Washington unsealed search warrants for Bryan Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman and his office at Washington State University (WSU).

The unsealed documents reveal that investigators seized a string of items from his home.

– one nitrite type black glove

– one Walmart receipt with one Dickie’s tag

– dust container from a vacuum

– multiple possible hair and hair strands

– one possible animal hair strands

– two cuttings from uncased pillow of reddish/brown stain

– two top and bottom mattress cover with multiple stains

– items with a ‘dark red spot’

No items were seized from his office which he shared with other PhD students.

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 10:45

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Bryan Kohberger’s Idaho murders arrest affidavit was meant to give answers. Instead it raises these new questions

Why did the surviving roommate wait eight hours to call 911 after seeing the killer?

Who was the intended target?

Is Bryan Kohberger the stalker Kaylee Goncalves complained about?

The affidavit revealed what led authorities to arrest Bryan Kohberger. But it also raised further questions about the case.

The Independent‘s Rachel Sharp reports on the questions still unanswered in the case:

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 10:00

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Could Bryan Kohberger get a plea deal?

If convicted of the four murders, Mr Kohberger faces the possibility of lethal injection, should the prosecution seek the death penalty.

In the state of Idaho, the maximum sentence for first-degree murder is death and the suspect is facing four counts of this charge.

While the Latah County prosecutor has not yet confirmed whether or not he plans to seek the death penalty in the case and he is unlikely to show his hand over the coming weeks due to the gag order now in place.

Goncalves’ parents have already said that they want their daughter’s killer to be sentenced to death saying he “has to pay” for what he has done.

“If you want to play god’s role, you’re gonna have to go answer to him,” Steve told NewsNation in early-January.

According to attorney Duncan Levin, in a death penalty case, the only possible plea deal would be for the suspect to be given life in prison instead.

However, he said it is “too early” to tell whether this is likely in this case.

“At this point, it is too early for the two sides to have a discussion about a plea deal,” he told The Independent.

“On a death penalty case, the only plea on the table is life in prison but both sides have too much investigating ahead of them to discuss that at this time.”

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 09:15

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UI students launch fundraiser selling bracelets in victims’ honor

University of Idaho students have launched fundraiser selling bracelets in honor of the four murder victims.

The Vandal Strong bracelets are black silicon bands featuring the names of Ethan, Maddie, Xana and Kaylee.

They are for sale on the website UI with funds from the sales set to go towards a memorial for the victims.

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 08:30

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Bryan Kohberger should ‘get an F in criminology’ over ‘damning’ Idaho murders affidavit, attorney says

Suspected mass killer Bryan Kohberger should “get an F in his criminology class” after the damning affidavit laid out evidence linking him to the murders of four University of Idaho students, according to a prominent criminal defense attorney.

Duncan Levin, the former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office and attorney at Levin & Associates who has represented clients including Harvey Weinstein and Anna Delvey, spoke exclusively to The Independent about the strength of the criminal case against the 28-year-old PhD student.

Based on the evidence outlined in the probable cause affidavit, Mr Levin said that Mr Kohberger did a poor job of “covering his tracks” and that the prosecution has a “very strong case” against him.

“In short he should get an F in criminology class,” he said. “He did not do a good job of covering his tracks by him.”

Rachel Sharp24 January 2023 07:45

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