PHOENIX – The arrest of 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students in November 2022 has cast a spotlight on a particular tool authorities used to track Kohberger down.
Kohberger was arrested on Dec. 30 in eastern Pennsylvania. According to officials with Washington State University, Kohberger was a PhD student in the school’s criminal justice program, and had completed his first semester earlier in December.
There are reports that a break in the murder case came after a process called “genetic genealogy” was used.
Here’s what you should know about genetic genealogy.
What is Genetic Genealogy?
According to a research guide published on the Library of Congress’ website, genetic genealogy creates a profile of biological relationships between or among individuals using DNA test results, in combination with traditional genealogical methods.
How does it work?
The Library of Congress’ research guide on Genetic Genealogy states that DNA samples contain three sources of information:
- Y-chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA) that is present only in samples from males, and gives information on patrilineal (male line) descent
- Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that is present in samples of both males and females, and gives information on matrilineal (female line) descent
- Autosomal DNA (atDNA), which gives information on both male line and female line descent.
The website Genealogy Explained states that mtDNA can be used to trace a person’s direct female-line ancestry, while Y-DNA can be used to trace a male’s direct male-line ancestry. AtDNA, meanwhile, is used to find relatives within the past five to seven generations, and can help people learn more about their ethnic ancestry.
What is it normally used for?
According to the article published on Genealogy Explained’s website, genetic genealogy is used to help determine a person’s ancestry and genealogical origins via DNA tests.
“These tests compare the results of a DNA test with those already tested by others in order to determine genetic similarities and provide information about how closely people are related,” read a portion of the website.
The website also states a number of companies that offer DNA testing for genetic genealogy, including some rather well-known brands like AncestryDNA and 23andMe.
How is Genetic Genealogy used to solve crimes?
According to a 2022 article published on Genealogy Explained’s website, a method they call Investigative Genetic Genealogy or “forensic genealogy” has been used to identify suspects in a criminal case.
A September 2022 report published by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence details the process of what they call Forensic Genetic Genealogy. The report states that searching DNA profiles against the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) may not always yield probative, or substantiating matches.
“When a search does not result in a CODIS match, forensic science service providers may identify leads using Forensic Genetic Genealogy,” read a portion of the report.
According to the report, Forensic Genetic Genealogy uses profiles of commonly occurring genetic variations across individuals known as SNPs. After an SNP profile was generated, the profile is uploaded to law enforcement-specific genetic databases to compare a case sample against available profiles that have been uploaded by other consenting individuals.
“The similarities between the case sample profile and consenting individual profiles can help law enforcement identify individuals who are related to the sample of interest,” read a portion of the report.
The investigative leads, according to the report, are later confirmed with additional DNA analysis.
Is this the first time Genetic Genealogy was used to solve a crime?
In recent years, at least three cases in California and Arizona involved the use of Genetic Genealogy.
Golden State Killer
In 2018, our sister station KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area reported that the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo in connection with the Golden State Killer cases. DeAngelo, according to then Sacramanto County District Attorney Anne Maria Schubert, was arrested after a DNA sample came back as a match to the Golden State Killer.
In an article published by the Associated Press, it was stated that police zeroed in on DeAngelo by using genealogical websites to identify potential relatives of the killer based on DNA collected at a crime scene
DeAngelo was eventually arrested after investigators collected trash from cans left outside DeAngelo’s home, and a piece of tissue from the trash proved to be the piece of evidence they needed to obtain an arrest warrant, according to court documents.
In June 2020, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges under a plea deal that avoided a possible death sentenced. He was sentenced in August that same year to multiple life sentences.
Phoenix Canal Killings
The Canal Killings in the Phoenix area was another case that featured the use of Genetic Genealogy.
The Canal Killings refer to the murder of two women in the 1990s in the Phoenix area. The suspect in both cases, Bryan Patrick Miller, was linked by DNA findings to the deaths of Angela Brosso in November 1992, and Melanie Bernas in September 1993.
“That was the first case solved ever, using forensic genetic genealogy in 2015. That identified Bryan Patrick Miller as the suspect in that case,” said Genetic Genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick.
Miller’s trial, after a number of delays, began on Oct. 3, 2022.
Scottsdale Woman Murder
Fitzpatrick also had a role in the investigation of Allison Feldman’s murder.
Feldman was killed in 2015 at her home in Scottsdale. Court documents revealed graphic details about the murder. Feldman’s murderer allegedly strangled her, beat her, and sexually assaulted her. The suspect allegedly used bleach or chlorine to clean up the gruesome scene, but a large pool of blood remained.
“This case was one of the worst scenes that I’ve been to,” said Scottsdale Police Detective John Heinzelman.
Investigators utilized Genetic Genealogy in the case by using a DNA profile from the murder scene to find a partial match to a first-degree relative. That relative turned out to be the suspect’s brother, Mark Mitcham, who was serving time in an Arizona prison.
“Using Y-DNA matched to the genetic genealogy databases, I came up with the name Mitcham,” said Fitzpatrick.
The suspect himself, later identified as Ian Mitcham, was arrested at his workplace in April 2018.
What does the future hold for this technology?
Currently, Fitzpatrick says Genetic Genealogy is considered an investigative lead, but she says in the future, it could play an even bigger role in criminal investigations.
“I think In the near future, it will be the evidence that will determines the outcome of the case,” said Fitzpatrick.
What are critics saying about Genetic Genealogy?
Critics of Forensic Genetic Genealogy have focused on matters of privacy.
“In submitting our DNA for testing, we give away data that exposes not only our own physical and mental health characteristics, but also those of our parents, our grandparents and, as in [Joseph James] DeAngelo’s case, our third cousins — not to mention relatives who haven’t been born yet,” read a commentary authored by ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project staff attorney Vera Eidelman, in 2018.
According to an article published by the Pew Charitable Trust in 2020, Americans are divided on whether police should use Investigative Genetic Genealogy to solve crimes.
Citing figures from a survey done by the Pew Research Center, the article states that 48% of the over 4,200 U.S. adults surveyed say they were OK with DNA testing companies sharing customers’ genetic data with police, while a third said it was unacceptable. The survey was done in June 2019.
What are government officials doing in response?
In September 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a number of interim policies regarding what they call “emerging method to generate leads for unsolved violent crimes.”
One of the sections in the Interim Policy on Forensic Genetic Genealogical DNA Analysis and Searching, titled “Investigative Caution,” states that investigative agencies “shall not arrest a suspect based solely on a genetic association generated by a [Genetic Genealogy] service.”
“Traditional genealogy research and other investigative work is required to determine the true nature of any genetic association,” a portion of the policy reads.
What about genetic testing firms? What are they doing about privacy?
At least two Genetic Genealogy testing firm – AncestryDNA and 23andMe, have issued guides on law enforcement requests for data.
On 23andMe‘s website, it is stated, in part, that if the company is required by law to comply with a valid court order, subpoena, or search warrant for genetic or personal information, company officials will notify those affected through the contact information they provided before the information is disclosed to law enforcement, unless doing so would violate the law or a court order.
AncestryDNA’s website states they do not voluntarily cooperate e with law enforcement in regards to requests for user information.
“To provide our Users with the greatest protection under the law, we require all government agencies seeking access to Ancestry customers’ data to follow valid legal process and do not allow law enforcement to use Ancestry’s services to investigate crimes or to identify human remains,” read a portion of the website.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
By Allison Elyse Gualtieri
Updated on: December 30, 2022 / 8:40 PM / CBS News
A suspect has been arrested for the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students, authorities said Friday. Word of the arrest came more than six weeks after roommates Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen and Xana Kernodle were found stabbed to death in their home in Moscow, Idaho, along with fellow student Ethan Chapin.
The suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, Moscow Police said during a news conference Friday. He is facing four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary, said Bill Thompson, Latah County prosecutor.
Pennsylvania State Police said Kohberger was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant. He is being held in Monroe County Correctional Facility pending extradition to Idaho, authorities said.
Officials said they are limited in what information they can release, as the probable cause statement with details of the investigation is sealed under state law until Kohberger has appeared in an Idaho court. He was expected to be back in court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Thompson said.
Law enforcement sources told CBS News that FBI agents conducted surveillance on Kohberger in Pennsylvania in the days prior to his arrest.
“For a lot of law enforcement, it was a fairly sleepless couple days … leading up to everything we were doing,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Friday. “I have faith in those agencies across the nation, I have faith in our officers, I have faith in the FBI, and they did a great job. There was some times, even throughout the day, that we were always concerned.”
Kohlberger is a graduate student at Washington State University, the prosecutor said. Kohlberger was listed earlier Friday on Washington State University’s website as a Ph.D. student in the department of criminal justice and criminology at the school’s campus in Pullman, Washington, although his name was later taken down. Pullman is about 15 minutes from Moscow, Idaho.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger was taken into custody in Monroe County, Pennsylvania Friday in connection with the investigation into the November murders of four University of Idaho students. Monroe County Correctional Facility
DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, confirmed that Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree there in 2020 and completed graduate studies in June 2022.
The four victims were found around noon on Sunday, Nov. 13, after a 911 call to police reported an unconscious person. Officials had earlier described the murder weapon as a large fixed-blade knife. Police are still looking for the knife, authorities said Friday.
Investigators allegedly used forensic analysis to link Kohberger to the crime scene, law enforcement sources told CBS News.
Mogen and Goncalves were both 21-year-old seniors at the university, and were best friends. The two had been at a downtown bar called The Corner Club that night and stopped at a food truck.
Kernodle, 20, was a junior and dating 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, a freshman. The two had attended a party earlier at the campus house of Sigma Chi, where Chapin was a member.
“Today we are commemorating our Maddie’s and her friend Kaylee with relief knowing that she can now be properly laid to rest,” read a statement from the Mogen family. Earlier this month, Goncalves’ family had announced on Facebook they would hold a “celebration of life” for Goncalves and Mogen at 3 p.m. local time Friday in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.
A flyer asks the public for information as police investigate the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students in Moscow, Idaho. LINDSEY WASSON / REUTERS
“This is the news we have been waiting for and a relief for our community and most importantly, the families of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin,” University of Idaho president Scott Green said in an email to students and staff following the arrest. “We are grateful for the hard work of law enforcement to protect our community and bring justice.”
He said the university does not appear to have any record of Kohberger.
During the course of the investigation, police said they have fielded 19,000 tips related to the slayings, as well as reviewed more than 113 pieces of physical evidence from the home, “approximately 4,000 photographs” and “multiple” 3-D scans that crime scene investigators took, and had conducted more than 300 interviews. They had initially seized three dumpsters and five cars from the crime scene, but had announced earlier this month they would start returning some of the victims’ belongings to their families.
Remediation at the house, set to begin Friday, was halted by the court, said Moscow Police Chief James Fry.
“Since November, investigators have been laser-focused on pursuing every lead in our pursuit of justice. This complex case took extensive work to develop a clear picture of what occurred,” he said. Police would not say if any motive had been determined and would not say if they were looking at any other suspects.
Fry said Friday that authorities had located a white Hyundai Elantra. Earlier this month, police had announced they were looking for a white 2011-2013 Elantra in connection with the investigation.
Early on, police had said they did not believe a surviving roommate or the friends who had called 911 had been involved in the killings. They also said they cleared another person, a former sixth roommate who had moved out of the house at the beginning of the school year, and a few other people who had encountered some of the students the prior evening, such as the person who drove Goncalves and Mogen home at the end of the evening.
“Tracking down rumors and quelling rumors about specific individuals or specific events that may or may not have happened is a huge distraction for investigators and oftentimes is the result of social media propagation. And it is very, very frustrating to investigators and hard to stay on track,” Moscow Police Capt. Roger Lanier said last week.
CBS News’ Pat Milton contributed reporting.
Published: 19:50 GMT, 24 December 2022 | Updated: 22:07 GMT, 24 December 2022
The ex-boyfriend of a victim in the Idaho student murders is heartbroken that ‘half of America’ thinks he slaughtered the ‘love of his life’ and three of her friends, a relative has said.
Victim Kaylee Goncalves, 21, broke up with her boyfriend of five years, Jack DuCoeur, 22, just three weeks before the quadruple murder which has baffled police.
DuCoeur was ruled out by police soon after the November 13 atrocity but has been dogged by ‘ridiculous conspiracies’, his aunt Brooke Miller said.
She added: ‘He’s not only lost the love of his life, and what we all thought and he probably thought as well, would be his future wife — you know, get married and have kids and all of that.’
Miller told the New York Post ‘half of America’ thinks he could ‘be responsible’ for the killings.
Victim Kaylee Goncalves, 21, broke up with her boyfriend of five years, Jack DuCoeur, 22, (pictured together) just three weeks before the quadruple murder which has baffled police
DuCoeur was ruled out by police soon after the November 13 atrocity but has been dogged by ‘ridiculous conspiracies’, his aunt Brooke Miller said
More than a month has passed since Goncalves and fellow University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were all stabbed to death inside the three-story off-campus home.
Cops have so far have discerned that the slayings occurred between 3 am and 4 am – and not much else. Moscow Police Chief James Fry, who oversee the small city of 25,000, has said he has no clue who or where the killer is, and has faced criticism.
Miller said DeCoeur, a mechanical engineering major at the university, was ‘obviously’ sad about the breakup but the couple ‘were still friends’. She said Goncalves was ‘planning on moving away’ and the split was ‘amiable’.
Days after the murders, it emerged Goncalves and Mogen called Jack at least seven times shortly before their deaths, in the very early hours of the morning.
Goncalves’ parents, Steve and Kristi, have said they stand by Jack ‘1000 percent’
Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right, were murdered in their off-campus university home on November 13
Chief James Fry who heads up Moscow Police, in the small city of 25,000 people admitted he has no clue where the killer is. He is asking the public for help with the investigation
The house in Moscow, Idaho, where the killings happened. Goncalves’ ex-boyfriend has been ruled out as a suspect but has been dogged by conspiracy theories online, his aunt revealed
Goncalves’ parents, Steve and Kristi, have also said they stand by Jack ‘1000 percent’.
Miller dismissed speculation online that her nephew committed the murders as ‘ridiculous conspiracies’, adding: ‘We all know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there’s no way that Jack would ever do anything like that to anybody.’
She said DeCoeur is struggling with the thought of returning to the university.
‘It’s hard for him to think about going back to Moscow because his life there was very involved with Kaylee’s,’ she said.
Miller is behind a GiveSendGo fundraiser to collect $20,000 to help the Goncalves family fund a private investigator and legal team to help solve the case.
‘The very last thing that this family wants to happen is for it to become a cold case,’ she told the Post.
University of Idaho alumni Cole Alteneder, who lived on the home’s second floor in 2021, suggested the victims may have heard the killer’s footsteps in the ‘creaky, old’ property
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home. College lovers Chapin and Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom – where Alteneder had lived as a student – while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor
Each floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom. Alteneder, who graduated in 2022, lived in a bedroom on the second floor the house, directly above one of the first-floor bedrooms
Her comments come as an ex-tenant of the house where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death suggested the victims may have heard the killer enter the house because every footstep can be heard in the ‘creaky, old’ property.
Each floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom. Alteneder, who graduated in 2022, lived in a bedroom on the second floor the house, directly above one of the first-floor bedrooms.
He described Friday how tenants could hear footsteps resonate throughout virtually every part of the home.
‘It’s a very creaky, old house,’ Alteneder, who lived at the home during his junior year, told Fox News and several other outlets in a series of interviews. ‘You can hear the footsteps on every floor.’
He added to ABC News: ‘You can’t walk up any of the stairs or on any of the floors without everybody in the house knowing it.’
Alteneder – a former track standout at the school who lived on the floor where college lovers Chapin and Kernodle, both 20, were found – went on to recall how when he lived there, his roommates below him could hear virtually everything he did in his room.
‘The person who lived below me always said he could hear me walking around,’ Alteneder told Fox News. ‘I had a desk and a rolling chair, and he could hear that roll around.’
He added the home – set in a cul-de-sac called ‘fratlantis’ by students due to its proximity to fraternity row – also boasted poor insulation a ventilation system that allowed tenants to ‘hear everybody talking throughout the house.’
A yellow rose, being the school color, is laid at a memorial in front of the house where the University of Idaho students were murdered in the early hours of November 13th
He said he and his roommates were used to the noises, and eventually learned to tune them out.
The neighborhood, Alteneder added, boasted a ‘very active party life,’ which carried over into the house.
‘A lot of students are very familiar with the inside of the home,’ he described. ‘At parties, people would hop the fence and just, like, walk away if the cops came.’
In response to public outcry over a lack of results in their investigation, police recently released some details offering insight into the final movements of the victims on the night of the slayings.
They said Goncalves and Mogen went to a local bar, stopped at a food truck and then caught a ride home with a private party around 1.56am, according to a police timeline of the evening.
Chapin and Kernodle, meanwhile, were at the Sigma Chi house just a short walk away, and returned to Kernodle’s room around 1.45am, police said.
Two other roommates, 19-year-olds Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, were also out that evening, but returned home by 1am, police said. They didn’t wake up until later that morning. They have said they did not hear anything strange the night of the murders.
#FBI assigned 60 agents to Moscow Idaho murders investigation, and yet no movement and no results! Do they need 600? 6,000? 60,000? It will not make any difference. The lazy, stupid, overfed FBI is not able to do its job! SUE THEM FOR THE PERSISTENT INVESTIGATIONAL MALPRACTICE! pic.twitter.com/d55s5yiP6d— Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) December 24, 2022…
Published: 10:29 GMT, 20 December 2022 | Updated: 11:50 GMT, 20 December 2022
There are now 60 FBI agents and four members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) working on the case which is being led by the local Moscow Police Department. This is up from the previous 46 FBI agents and two BAU analysts.
The Police and FBI will continue to investigate the murder of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, 21, and Xana Kernodle, 20, who were stabbed to death in their beds on November 13.
Police also said that some 10,000 tips have so far been made into the deaths of the university housemates, as the unsolved case continues to grip the nation.
Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right were murdered in their off-campus university home on November 13
Moscow Police Department, along with the FBI, are continuing the ongoing investigation into the death of four Idaho University Students at their home in Idaho
The new FBI recruits into the unsolved case will continue to scour for clues, gather information, and examine footage in the hopes of identifying the murderer.
As well as the 62 FBI agents and the two BAU analysts, some 11 Moscow Police Department detectives and staff, and 28 Idaho State Police officers are working on the case.
The thousands of tips from the public that continue to flood in will hopefully assist the police in solving the murders.
Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said on Monday: ‘We have had right around 10,000 tips come in. We’re reviewing all those tips. We’re checking to ensure we have individuals to look at all of those tips, and any piece of evidence they can link to this case, they’re doing so.’
Specially trained investigators will now examine the tips and video submissions to piece any leads together.
The brutal quadruple homicide took place 37 days ago now, but a lack of developments in the case has frustrated the victims’ families, Moscow locals, and the nation who want to see the found and brought to justice.
The murders took place the group’s off-campus university residence in the early hours of Sunday morning on November 13.
The night before, on the evening of Saturday, November 12, Miss Mogen and Miss Goncalves had been at a local bar in Moscow, Idaho. Chapin and Kernodle had been at a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house on the University of Idaho campus.
Both parties returned home in the early hours of the morning. Chapin was not a permanent resident of the house but was staying with girlfriend Xana Kernodle.
The bodies of the four college students were later found on the second and third floors of the house.
Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin (left) were both killed Sunday along with friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves (right)
The bodies of Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogan were found on the top floor of the house. Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom. Survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor
After a night out, the four housemates were murdered around 3-4am on the morning of November 13
The cops investigating the unsolved murder case have come under severe criticism after producing a lack of significant leads or any suspects 37 days after the students were slaughtered in their beds.
The lawyer representing the family of Kaylee Goncalves has asked whether the local police are capable of solving the quadruple homicide.
Speaking to the Today Show yesterday, Shannon Gray said Kaylee Goncalves’ family is extremely frustrated with law enforcement’s lack of answers more than one month after the murders.
This has led the Goncalves family to hire their own private investigator to get some answers.
‘We want to let them know that we were holding them accountable for their decisions,’ Gray said. ‘And if they are in over their heads, then acknowledge that and turn the investigation over to someone who is more versed in handling these types of matters.’
‘I’m not sure they’re capable of handling a quadruple murder,’ he added.
Idaho police are currently searching for information regarding a white Hyundai Elantra that was in the ‘immediate area’ of the Moscow home where four students were found dead.
Police are currently searching for information regarding a white Hyundai Elantra found. A car was in the ‘immediate area’ of the Moscow home where four students were found dead
Idaho police travelled up to 24 miles out of Moscow to collect surveillance footage in nearby towns after the white Hyundai was spotted near the scene. They are still locating the car
The officers are searching through a database of some 22,000 registered white Hyundai Elantras that fit the description of the one found at the scene.
The car was found near King Road in the ‘early morning hours’ of November 13, the same morning the students were found dead inside their off-campus home.
Police have said in the past that they driver ‘may have seen something’ that could be relevant to the fatal stabbings.
There are now ‘multiple groups’ scanning through clips as they try to track down those responsible, Fry said as he vowed his force would continue working over Christmas.
A possible new development may be a possible scream that was picked up on a police officer’s bodycam on the night of the brutal murders.
A high-pitched sound, recorded at 3:12am, was captured by a Moscow police officer who was responding to an unrelated incident near the University of Idaho.
Some web-sleuths believe that the sound is a scream, while others think it could be the sound of car tyres peeling away.
The noise appears to have been made around the time the students were killed and authorities hope it may help them in determining what happened.
Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (middle) survived the brutal attack, as their housemates Xana Kernodle (second from left) Kaylee Goncalves (second from right) and Madison Mogen (right) were killed
Police have found no evidence of a sex crime, and the victims had wounds on their bodies which indicated that they tried to fight of the attacker.
Initially cops said they thought all four were assaulted as they slept, with Goncalves father saying she had the worst injuries from the incident – suffering ‘gouging wounds’ and ‘rips’.
The Chief of police at Moscow Police Department himself admitted that investigators did not understand how the two surviving roommates – Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen – appeared to sleep through the attack.
Police and the FBI agents will now continue to work over Christmas to find the killer.
Investigating authorities are asking the public to call in tips at 208-883-7180, or email email@example.com.
An unidentified killer who stabbed to death four university students as they slept in their beds may have had military training, according to a leading criminal profiler, who says the public should “be on their toes”.
Police and FBI investigators continue to assess evidence following the quadruple killing of University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.
The four students were killed as they slept in their beds at around 3am on November 13 – a crime that has shocked America.
The mass murderer remains at large and police are yet to name a suspect or motive – though have rowed back on their description of it being a “targeted attack”.
John Kelly, a criminal profiler and psychotherapist, has told Express.co.uk other students at the university should be “on their toes” with the killer on the loose.
The four students that were killed earlier this month (Image: AP)
Mr Kelly said: “This person knows what they were doing, that’s why I’m not discounting military here in some way. If you have somebody who knows what they’re doing. They got into the house, knew to put their hand over the mouths of each student and start stabbing them.
“They were to take them out quietly without waking up the other two students in the house.”
Mr Kelly also pointed out that there is a military base nearby, just a six-minute walk away from the University of Idaho – where all four students studied.
He noted there have been no known reports of screaming coming from the building.
Mr Kelly said: “It appears to me that the person did know what they were doing as they didn’t allow for any screams that we know of.
There are several military bases near the university (Image: Google Maps)
The knife was a military-style knife (Image: Getty)
“I think this guy does have some type of know-how. Where he got it, I don’t know but it was a military-grade knife, one used by Marines. I’m not saying he’s in the service but he learned how to use this knife somewhere.”
He added: “We don’t know where the killer would be. We can’t say they’re on campus but we also can’t say they’re not on campus.
“I think it’s very important that until this person is identified, the students have to be on their toes at university. We don’t know if this person has quenched their bloody thirst.”
Scott Jutte, a general manager at Moscow Building Supply, previously told local press police visited the store to ask whether they sell KA-BAR-style combat knives.
Students returned to campus earlier this week following the Thanksgiving break, some very anxious that the killer could still be located in the area.
Moscow is a military town where the students lived (Image: AP)
Mr Kelly, who has worked on over 100 serial murder cases, said: “You wonder where the killer is going next. It’s a scary situation. You wonder if they got their vengeance or if they are still walking around extremely enraged.”
Police have been dealing with an influx of calls from students and others in the community who fear for their safety.
One student, speaking to the student newspaper, Argonaut, said: “Nothing like this has happened in the four years I’ve been here and part of the reason I chose this campus was because it was in a small, relatively safe town.
“It was surreal to hear that something so terrible could happen just blocks from my dorm.”
Moscow Police Department has been contacted for comment. Express.co.uk has also contacted military bases in the area.