A suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students reportedly plans to return voluntarily to the state after his arrest in Pennsylvania.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was taken into custody in Pennsylvania early Friday in connection to the quadruple murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin following an investigation by the Moscow Police Department, the FBI and Idaho State Police.
In a press conference on Friday, 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, as his arrest warrant will remain sealed until then following state law.
Mr Kohbrger’s attorney Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar has since revealed that the Washington State University PhD criminology student intends to waive his right to a 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 told CNN in a statement.
According to Mr LaBar, Mr Kohberger’s father had gone to pick him up in Idaho and returned with him to Pennsylvania to celebrate the holidays.
Mr LaBar is only representing Mr Kohberger before he is extradited to Idaho. He said his client and his family cooperated with police after agents raided their home around 3am on Friday.
“They’re also very shocked,” Mr LaBar told CNN. “Out of character for Bryan… The FBI, local police, Idaho State Troopers were at their house at approximately 3 a. m. yesterday knocking on the door and announcing themselves to enter, out of real shock and awe to them.”
Mr LaBar also told ABC: “Mr Kohberger has been accused of very serious crimes, but the American justice system cloaks him in a veil of innocence ... He should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise - not tried in the court of public opinion.”
Mr Kohberger is a PhD graduate student in the criminal justice and criminology department in Pullman, Washington, around nine miles west of Moscow, where the students lived and were murdered.
Pullman is around nine miles (15kms) west of Moscow, Idaho, where the students lived.
Moscow police Chief Fry on Friday said he was prevented by state law from revealing what tipped police off to Kohberger’s arrest until the suspect has been extradited to Idaho.
“We have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes, and I believe the community is safe,” Mr Fry said.
The murder weapon has not yet been found, and Mr Fry urged anyone with knowledge of Kohberger to contact authorities with any information about the suspect whatsoever.
Prior to his arrest, Mr Fry said the department had received over 19,000 tips and conducted 300 interviews.
“These murders have shaken our community and no arrest could ever bring back these young students,” he said.
He added that authorities had located a Hyundai Elantra that had been spotted in the vicinity of the students’ flat on the night they died.
“Be assured the work is not done, this is just getting started,” he said.