WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- There was no prior connection between the Idaho murders suspect and the victims, said the attorney for one of the bereaved families.
- The sister of Kaylee Goncalves said that she initially suspected the killer to be a stranger.
- The suspect, Bryan Kohberger, is facing trial on four counts of first-degree murder.
The suspect in the quadruple homicide of University of Idaho students had no connection to the victims, said an attorney representing the family of one of the victims.
Shanon Gray, a lawyer for 21-year-old victim Kaylee Goncalves’ family, told Insider, “No one knew of this guy at all.”
Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Pennsylvania in late December. He is currently facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. Police linked DNA on a knife sheath found at the crime scene to Kohberger.
He was a Ph.D. student at Washington State University’s criminal justice program.
Last week, authorities unsealed an affidavit of his arrest, revealing new details about the criminal investigation.
According to the affidavit, phone records placed Kohberger at least a dozen times near the house where Goncalves, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were killed. Almost all the occasions, except for one, “occurred in the late evening and early morning hours of their respective days.”
Gray said that none of the victims made any indication that they thought someone was watching them.
Gray noted that the affidavit provided “a lot of hard evidence,” and that “The police have always said they want not only arrests. They want a conviction. So we’re hopeful that that’s where we’re headed.”
He added that additional evidence, such as stuff from the suspect’s car and apartment, will only make the case against him “stronger and stronger.”
Authorities have not yet provided a motive for the killings.
According to Gray, the Goncalves family is “thankful” for the testimony of one of the surviving roommates.
The roommate told investigators that she opened her doors several times when she heard crying during the night of the killings. She then saw a masked man in black clothing walk toward the back sliding glass door of the house. She described the man as roughly 5-foot-10, “athletically built,” and with “bushy eyebrows.” But the sighting left her in a “frozen shock phase” until she locked herself inside her bedroom.
The killings are believed to have occurred between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m., while the 911 call was placed about eight hours later.
Several questions were raised as to the lateness of the roommate’s emergency call, but Gray stated, “She’s a victim in the case. So I think everyone needs to treat her as a victim. I don’t think anybody knows what they might do in that situation.”