Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was caught via genetic DNA testing

The suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students was arrested with the help of genealogical DNA testing, according to reports.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, a 28-year-old Washington State University criminology student, was arrested by FBI agents and officers of the Pennsylvania State Police near the Pocono Mountains early Friday morning, according to documents obtained by The Independent.

In a press conference, Moscow Police said that more information about the circumstances leading up to the arrest would be released once Mr Kohberger appears in court in Idaho.

It has since been revealed that the breakthrough in a case that was unsolved for over a month came after a process called genetic genealogy led investigators to Mr Kohberger.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that the unidentified DNA evidence was run through a public database to find potential family member matches.

The DNA testing was followed by subsequent investigative work by detectives to arrest Mr Kohberger as a suspect.

Genetic genealogy is a technique to study family history that has revolutionised criminal investigation for law enforcement. It is used to identify the remains by “tying the DNA to a family with a missing person or to point to the likely identity of a perpetrator”, according Parabon Nanolabs.

Victims Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves (Jazzmin Kernodle/AP/Instagram/Idaho Statesman)
Victims Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves (Jazzmin Kernodle/AP/Instagram/Idaho Statesman)

The DNA evidence from crime site is run through DNA of “volunteer participants”, who volunteered to provide their samples open-source databases, the wesbsite said.

Mr Kohberger was charged with four counts of murder in connection with the killings.

Mr Kohberger’s arrest is the first significant breakthrough in the murders of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin on 13 November.

Sources also told CNN that detectives tracked and surveilled the suspect for several days before he was finally arrested.

Mr Kohberger’s attorney Monroe County chief public defender Jason LaBar said his client intends to waive his 3 January extradition hearing in the Keystone state to expedite his return to Idaho.

“Mr Kohberger is eager to be exonerated of these charges and looks forward to resolving these matters as promptly as possible,” Mr LaBar said.