Kohberger murder affidavit: Left-behind knife sheath, DNA led to capture, arrest

The affidavit also chillingly states that one of the surviving roommates heard "crying and saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask" the day of the murders.

Updated: January 5, 2023 - 2:17pm

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The man accused of stabbing four University of Idaho college students to death was identified through DNA evidence left on a knife sheath at the crime scene and cellular data showed his phone was in the area of the Moscow, Idaho, crime scene at least a dozen times before the murders, officials said in an affidavit released Thursday.

The Idaho State Lab discovered DNA on a knife sheath left on the bed next to victim Madison Mogen, Moscow Police Department Cpl. Brett Payne said in the affidavit. 

Officials used trash recovered from his family's Pennsylvania home to link Kohberger's DNA to the crime scene, documents show.

Kohberger's phone records show he used "cellular resources that provide coverage" to the area of the crime scene "on at least twelve occasions prior to November 13, 2022," the date of the murders, Payne said. "All of these occasions, except for one, occurred in the late evening and early morning hours of their respective days."

The affidavit was released the same day Kohberger appeared in an Idaho court.

The affidavit chillingly stated that one surviving roommate woke up at about 4 a.m. the day of the murders and heard victim Kaylee Goncalves say something like "someone's been here."

The roommate said she looked out of her bedroom and heard a male voice say, "It's OK I'm going to help you."

She later heard "crying and saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person's mouth and nose walking toward her," the affidavit stated. The male walked past her and toward the back door, and she locked herself in her bedroom.