By: Chloe Xiao
On Sunday, November 13 Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves ate at a late-night food truck at around 1:41 A.M., with Ethan Chaplin and Xana Kernodle having returned home at 1:45 A.M. Goncalves and Mogen went home at around 1:56 A.M. This is the last time they are seen before their roommates urgently phoned for 911.
One of their roommates told the police that she had been woken up at around 4 A.M. to what sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog but after a few minutes “…heard a male voice say something to the effect of ‘it’s ok, I’m going to help you,..”. The roommate said that when she opened her door, she could hear crying and then saw a man in black clothes and a mask walk past her. She later states that she doesn’t recognize the man and then begins describing him. She describes him as around 5 foot-10 or taller, and “..not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows..”.
At around 4:17 A.M. a security camera about 50 feet from Kernodle’s room was able to record “..distorted audio of what sounded like voices or a whimper followed by a loud thud.” Their roommates later called 2 friends as they believed that one of the victims had passed out and was not waking up until they finally called 911 at 11:58 A.M.
The suspect’s white Hyundai Elantra went by the victim's house 3 times, before entering the area for a fourth time at 4:04 A.M.
The police had originally no solid leads they had been able to pull out from around 4,600 tips and over 250 interviews and 113 pieces of physical evidence. That was until they found the leather knife sheath.
This leather knife sheath had DNA on it but by the time they found said piece of DNA, some suspects had already left. One that was particularly under suspicion was Bryan Kohberger. A 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student at Washington State University was studying under Katherine Ramsland for a while. Ramsland is well known for her knowledge and expertise of serial killers, like the BTK who has written a few famous books like “Confession of a Serial Killer” and “How to Catch a Killer”.
Kohberger later went with his father on a road trip to Pennsylvania in the same Hyundai Elantra, where they were later stopped by police for two minor driving offenses. Police at their home tested the trash and other surrounding items and found that his father’s DNA is an exact match for the knife sheath’s DNA if it had been the child who did it.
Kohberger agreed to be extracted, and has also been charged with four counts of 1st-degree murder, and might be getting a death sentence.