Officials unseal search warrants in Moscow quadruple murder case

By Reader Staff

Court documents unsealed Jan. 17 in Whitman County, Wash., describe why law enforcement officials believe there is probable cause to believe that Bryan Kohberger, 28, murdered four University of Idaho students in November, and what was discovered following searches of his graduate student office on the Washington State University campus and apartment in Pullman, Wash.

Kohberger, a former Ph.D. student in criminal justice at Washington State, is accused of breaking into a Moscow house Nov. 13 sometime between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m. and killing Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Kaylee Concalves, 21, of Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene. 

He is currently being held on charges of felony burglary and four counts of first-degree murder in Latah County, Idaho, where he is awaiting trial after being taken into custody Dec. 30 at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania.

According to the recently unsealed search warrants, one nitrate-type black glove, receipts from Walmart and Marshalls, a vacuum dust container, more than a dozen possible hair strands, a Fire TV stick, computer tower, sample of a “dark red spot,” two cuttings from an uncased pillow bearing a “reddish/brown stain” and a pair of mattress covers with “multiple stains” were taken from Kohberger’s residence.

Nothing appeared to have been taken from the on-campus office he shared with two other graduate students.

Authorities had been looking for evidence in Kohberger’s apartment such as blood, skin or hair from the crime scene; trace DNA from either human or animal sources; and physical evidence including the clothes, mask or shoes he may have worn while allegedly committing the murders, and the presence or evidence of ownership of any knives, sheaths or other sharp tools.

Evidence from the crime scene and subsequent autopsy reports showed that the victims had been killed using a sharp object, and a knife sheath was recovered at the scene bearing DNA evidence from one male. 

Officials also sought digital or other media evidence that could suggest pre-planning, such as reviews of murders or violent assaults including stabbing or cutting people, methods of avoiding detection following a crime, and any details about the Moscow residence and the victims. 

Kohberger has already been allegedly tied to the case based on vehicle sightings and cell phone records — all detailed in the court documents — that indicate he drove in the area of the Moscow residence at least 12 times in the months leading up to the murders, and all but one of those incidents took place in late evening or early morning hours.

Law enforcement officials are still accepting tips, particularly from anyone familiar with the suspect. Share tips by calling 208-833-7180, emailing [email protected] or send digital media to

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.