Remembering the Idaho four

Moscow murders

In the early morning hours of November 13, 2022, four University of Idaho students were brutally murdered in their six bedroom college house in Moscow, Idaho. Students, Ethan Capman, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Maddie Mogen, 21; suffered extensive stab wounds. 

Once the news reached headlines and flooded social media pages, speculation began as to who the killer was. Theories circulated on TikTok, naming suspects or how the killings took place; ex-boyfriends, greek life members, and the two surviving roommates; Dylan Mortenson and Bethany Funke, who lived on the bottom floor of the house, were thought to have been involved in the murders. 

In the late hours of Nov. 12, the four individuals had been spotted separately in different areas throughout the night, including the local bar, Sigma Chi fraternity house, and at food truck vendors. All four individuals arrived home around 1:45 a.m. The murders were believed to have happened around 4:00 a.m. A 911 phone call was made by one of the surviving roommates at noon on Nov. 13 to their residents at what now had become a crime scene.

The death of the four students was painful and shocking to many. As more details about the murders surfaced on the news, individuals became invested in the lives of the victims and the crime. With every eye on Moscow law enforcement, the investigation began.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested Dec. 30 in connection to the murders. Kohberger was studying criminology as a PhD student at Washington State University. During the investigation, police found evidence of a knife sheath, believed to be part of the weapon used on the victims. Investigators were able to use DNA from the knife sheath and run it through a database, then through genetic geology to connect the DNA to Kohberger through his family members. Investigators then used DNA evidence from trash at Kohberger’s residence to confirm the DNA. 

Many individuals became frustrated over the lack of information police were releasing to the public over the seven week timeline.

The police force knew who they were looking for long before Kohberger’s arrest was made. On Dec. 7, police asked the public for information regarding a 2011-2013 white Hyundai Elantra seen near the crime scene the night of the murders, which Kohberger drove. During his cross country trip, Kohberger was pulled over twice in Indiana on Dec. 15. It is speculated that the FBI directed Indiana police to pull over Kohberger to get video evidence of possible scratches on his hands since there had not been enough evidence to arrest him yet.

Bryan Kohberger will have a preliminary hearing in late June. It is still unknown what his motive was. He has yet to enter a plea after being charged with the murder of the four University of Idaho students, and is waiting to learn whether prosecutors will pursue the death penalty. While many are relieved the suspect has been found, the pain felt by family, friends, the community, and the shockwave sent across America is evident. May we always remember the Idaho Four.