Friday brought the most significant news yet in the closely-watched case of four college students who were killed in Moscow, Idaho, in November.
While authorities have now arrested a suspect, many key questions about the events surrounding the killings remain unanswered.
What we learned today:
- A suspect in the killings is now in custody: The man arrested is Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, according to a criminal complaint. He was taken into custody Friday in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, the document states.
- The evidence used by investigators: Authorities narrowed their focus to Kohberger after tracing his ownership of a white Hyundai Elantra seen in the area of the killings, according to two law enforcement sources. They also said his DNA was matched to genetic material recovered at the off-campus house where the students were stabbed to death. Investigators traced the DNA with the help of genetic genealogy, a source with knowledge of the case told CNN.
- Kohberger was a graduate student at a nearby school: The suspect does not attend the same college as the victims, but just finished his first semester in a PhD program for Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the school confirmed.
- What's next for the suspect: Records show Kohberger was arraigned Friday morning in Pennsylvania and has a court hearing on extradition to Idaho on Jan. 3. He could also waive extradition and return voluntarily. Once he is in Idaho, he is expected to make an initial appearance before a magistrate and further hearings will be scheduled.
- Investigators still need help: “This is not the end of this investigation. In fact, this is a new beginning,” Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said during tonight's news conference. Authorities urged anyone with information about the named suspect to come forward and help them fill in the events surrounding the killings.
What we still don't know:
- The suspect's potential motive or connection to the victims: Moscow Police Chief James Fry said the suspect's motive in the attack is still part of the investigation and would not publicly say whether the suspect knew the victims.
- The weapon used in the attack: Authorities have previously said an “edged weapon such as a knife” was used in the killings, but no murder weapon has been found, Fry said Friday.
- Whether a specific tip led to the arrest: The police chief thanked residents for the overwhelming number of tips that poured in for the case, but did not specify when asked whether a specific piece of information led to Friday's arrest.
- How the attack played out: While police have previously outlined limited details about the killings, including that the victims had likely been sleeping and that two additional roommates were unharmed, investigators went no further Friday to establish the narrative of that night's events.
More context: State law limits what information authorities can release before Kohberger makes an initial appearance in Idaho court, Fry told reporters, and that could have to do with the lack of further details. The police chief thanked the public for its patience and acknowledged frustrations with the pace of updates on the case.