Idaho college murders timeline: From off-campus killings to Bryan Kohberger's court appearance

Kohberger was arrested more than six weeks after the murders of Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
University of Idaho Murders: Visual Timeline
ABC News pieced together information from an affidavit released by authorities, verified publicly available evidence and pulled in reporting to create a visual timeline outlining events in the case.

MOSCOW, Idaho -- More than six weeks after four University of Idaho students were mysteriously stabbed to death in a house near the Moscow, Idaho, campus, a suspect was identified and taken into custody.

The four slain students were Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.

Court documents -- including an 18-page affidavit -- released on Jan. 5 revealed how police zeroed in on their suspect: Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student at Washington State University, located less than 10 miles away from the University of Idaho.

MORE: Key takeaways from court documents in case against Bryan Kohberger and some questions that remain

Phone records showed the suspect was near the victims' residence numerous times in the months before the killings.

Here's how the case is unfolding:

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

On the night of Saturday, Nov. 12, Goncalves and Mogen -- lifelong best friends -- went out to the Corner Club bar in Moscow, according to Moscow police.

Two weeks after the stabbing deaths of four Idaho students, investigators are still working to determine who carried out the brutal attack.

Meanwhile, Chapin and Kernodle, who were dating, went to the Sigma Chi house Saturday night, police said.

Two other roommates -- who survived the attack and are not considered suspects -- also went out in Moscow that night, police said.

Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022

At about 1:40 a.m., Goncalves and Mogen were seen on video at Grub Truck, a local food vendor, and used a private individual to get a ride home, getting back at 1:45 a.m., police said. A man seen in surveillance video at the Grub Truck and the person who drove them home are not considered suspects, according to authorities.

Chapin and Kernodle got home at about 1:45 a.m., police said. Chapin did not live at the house but was sleeping over with his girlfriend.

Police believe the murders unfolded between 4 a.m. and 4:25 am., according to court documents.

Ten days after 4 Idaho students were killed, police have said they have not identified a suspect or found the weapon used in the killings.

Kernodle got a DoorDash order at the house at about 4 a.m., according to the affidavit.

One of the surviving roommates said she woke up around 4 a.m. from what sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog, according to the affidavit.

"A short time" after, the roommate said "she heard someone she thought was Goncalves say something to the effect of 'there's someone here,'" the documents said. But that could have been Kernodle on her phone because records showed she was on TikTok at about 4:12 a.m., the affidavit said.

The roommate said "she looked out of her bedroom but did not see anything when she heard the comment about someone being in the house," the documents said. "She opened her door a second time when she heard what she thought was crying coming from Kernodle's room."

The roommate "then said she heard a male voice say something to the effect of 'it's ok, I'm going to help you,'" according to the documents.

The roommate said she opened her door again when she heard the crying, and she saw a man in black clothes and a mask walking past her. She stood "frozen" and in "shock," according to the court documents.

The home will still remain an active crime scene. However, this is just part of the process to return the property to the building managers.

The roommate said she didn't recognize the man, who she said walked toward the house's sliding glass door. She described him as 5-foot-10 or taller, and "not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows," according to the affidavit.

At about 4:17 a.m., a security camera less than 50 feet from Kernodle's room picked up sounds of a barking dog and "distorted audio of what sounded like voices or a whimper followed by a loud thud," according to the documents.

On the morning of Nov. 13, the two roommates called friends over to their house because they thought one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and wasn't waking up, police said. At 11:58 a.m., a 911 call from one of the roommate's phones requested help for an unconscious person, police said.

Responding officers then found the four victims. Authorities said they do not believe anyone at the house at the time of the 911 call was involved in the murders.

After the bodies were discovered, authorities reviewed surveillance video and saw the suspect's white Hyundai Elantra go by the victims' house three times, before entering the area for a fourth time at 4:04 a.m., according to the documents. Police said they traced the car's travel that night back to Pullman, Washington, where Kohberger lived.

Kohberger's phone was tracked heading to Moscow before the attack, but the phone was off from 2:47 a.m. to 4:48 a.m., which "is consistent with Kohberger attempting to conceal his location during the quadruple homicide," the affidavit said.

He also returned to the area of the house where the four students were killed just after 9 a.m., about five hours after the murders, based on phone records, the affidavit also showed.

His phone was near the victims' house at least 12 times before the murders, at least as far back as August, according to the affidavit. All of those times, except for one, were late at night or early in the morning.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Autopsies conducted on Nov. 17 determined all victims were stabbed multiple times, police said.

The four students were probably asleep when attacked and some had defensive wounds, police said.

There was no sign of sexual assault, police added.

Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

The family of 20-year-old victim Ethan Chapin held his memorial service on Nov. 21.

Police said Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin went to Sigma Chi before the Moscow, Idaho murders that also killed Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen.

Chapin, a triplet, was born right before his sister and brother, who also attend the University of Idaho.

Chapin was "one of the most incredible people you'll ever know," his mother, Stacy Chapin, told reporters before his memorial service.

The 20-year-old "lived his best life" at college, his obituary said.

"He laughed continuously. He smiled when he woke up and was still smiling when he went to bed," his obituary said. "He was kind to all and a friend to all."

Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

In a Nov. 28 interview, Goncalves' father, Steve Goncalves, told ABC News that the students died quickly and did not bleed for hours, so an earlier 911 call would not have saved their lives.

"Nobody suffered and nobody felt like that kind of pain," Steve Goncalves said.

WATCH: Dad of slain Idaho student pleads with public for help

Steve Goncalves, the father of 21-year-old victim Kaylee Goncalves, sheds new light on what he believes happened the night of the quadruple murder.

The grieving dad said he's feeling "a little defeated" and frustrated by the lack of transparency from police but still supports and trusts the law enforcement officers who are diligently working on the investigation.

"I have to assume and hope that this is all part of their plan and ... they've got this all figured out," he said. "I know that there's some really good, hard-working guys and girls that are on this case that I've met. And they looked me in the eyes and they told me straight-out that they're working and they're doing everything in their power."

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Moscow police had asked the authorities to look out for white Elantras, and on Nov. 29, a Washington State University police officer searched cars that matched that description at the university and found one registered to Kohberger, the affidavit said.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022

Grieving families and classmates gathered at the University of Idaho on Nov. 30 for a candlelight vigil.

Ethan Chapin's mother, Stacy Chapin, cried as she told the mourners, "We are eternally grateful that we spent so much time with him. That's the most important message that we have for you and your families ... to make sure that you spend as much time as possible with those people. Because time is precious and it's something you can't get back."

Madison Mogen's dad, Ben Mogen, said his only child was a hard worker, "nice to everybody" and "smart and funny and beautiful."

Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, inseparable best friends since the sixth grade, "died together in the same room, in the same bed," Steve Goncalves said at the vigil.

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022

On Dec. 7, police announced to the public that they were looking to speak with the driver of a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra that was seen "in the immediate area" of the victims' house early on Nov. 13.

Anyone with information on the car was asked to contact the tip line.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022

As the one-month mark hit, Moscow Police Capt. Roger Lanier said police are closely guarding "the information that we've discovered at the scene and our investigative information because we want to protect the integrity of this investigation."

But, he promised, "This investigation is not cold. We get tips every day that are viable."

"Those tips help us do everything from clear people ... to further some of the theories that we're working on," he said in a video statement. "Eventually we're going to narrow in on exactly what happened and who did it."

Friday, Dec. 15, 2022

As police in Idaho searched for answers, Kohberger was stopped by Indiana police on Dec. 15 for traffic violations.

After Kohberger's semester at Washington State ended in December, he and his father drove across the country together to the family's Pennsylvania home, his attorney, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, told ABC News.

They drove the pre-planned road trip in the white Hyundai Elantra that authorities said they were looking for in connection to the murders, according to LaBar.

Kohberger and his father were stopped twice on Dec. 15 while driving east of Indianapolis, both times with the younger Kohberger in the driver's seat. They were first stopped by the Hancock County Sheriff's Office for speeding and then nine minutes later by the Indiana State Police for following another vehicle too closely, according to officials.

An Indiana Sheriff's Deputy gave murder suspect Bryan Kohberger a verbal warning for following too closely, about a month after four University of Idaho students were killed.

After Kohberger's arrest, the sheriff's department and state police said there was no information at the time on the suspect in the Idaho crimes or specific information on the white Hyundai Elantra.

The state police added, "The Trooper, having learned the two had been stopped minutes before by a Deputy from the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, who he knew was working just down the interstate from him, used his discretion and released the two men with a verbal warning."

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022

Authorities said DNA from the suspect was recovered on a knife sheath left on a victim's bed, according to the documents. On Dec. 27, police recovered trash from Kohberger's parents' house in Pennsylvania, and a lab determined the DNA from the trash was the father of the person who left DNA on the knife sheath, the affidavit said.

Friday, Dec. 30, 2022

Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains in the early hours of Dec. 30.

The family of Goncalves told ABC News they don't know Kohberger and are "happy, relieved and thankful" there's been an arrest.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said, "No arrest will ever bring back these young students. However, we do believe justice will be found through the criminal process."

Tuesday, Jan. 3

Kohberger, who was arrested for four counts of first-degree murder and burglary, agreed to be extradited to Idaho during his Jan. 3 court appearance in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

LaBar said in a statement his client "is eager to be exonerated of these charges and looks forward to resolving these matters as promptly as possible."

MORE: Who is Bryan Kohberger? What we know about the Idaho college murders suspect

Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested as a suspect in the Idaho college murders Friday. He was taken into custody in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, Jan. 4

On Jan. 4, Kohberger was extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho.

Thursday, Jan. 5

The Idaho state court released court documents on Jan. 5 that revealed never-before-seen details of the police investigation.

As Kohberger made his first court appearance in Moscow that same day, Kaylee Goncalves' parents stared him down as he entered the courtroom in a bright orange jumpsuit and no shackles.

Charges were read for the murders of each student; the judge said each victim was "stabbed and murdered with premeditation with malice and forethought." Families were overcome with emotion as their child's name was read.

The judge asked Kohberger if he wants to represent himself or have a court-appointed attorney, and he calmly and replied, "I have court-appointed counsel."

Kohberger's next status hearing is Jan. 12.

Thursday, Jan. 12

Kohberger appeared in Idaho court for a status conference, where a judge scheduled a preliminary probable cause hearing to begin June 26.

The suspect who appeared in court wearing an orange prison uniform with his feet shackled, waived his right to a speedy probable cause hearing within 14 days. The 28-year-old spoke only briefly while answering the judge's questions.

Kohberger appeared to have several cuts on his face, including a roughly two-inch cut above his chin, on his jawline and another smaller one on his cheek. He spoke only four words during the appearance, which lasted less than five minutes.

The public defender representing the suspect requested the judge allow four or five days for the probable cause hearing this summer, and the judge indicated she would block the week of June 26 for the matter. The judge also ordered that Kohberger remain remanded in state custody with no bond.

Thursday, March 2

Court documents unsealed in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, revealed a cache of items seized from Kohberger's parents' home shortly after he was arrested. The items included "medical style" gloves, a silver flashlight, a black sweatshirt, black socks and a pair of size 13 Nike shoes.

An evidence log also revealed investigators took knives, a cell phone, black gloves, black masks, laptops, dark-colored clothes and dark shoes, brown boots and New Balance shoes. The knives included a Smith and Wesson pocket knife and a knife in a leather sheath.

Criminology books - including one titled, "criminal psychology" - and notebooks also were seized, along with a shop-vac and personal documents, the log shows.

Wednesday, May 17

A grand jury indicted Kohberger on murder and burglary charges. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

Monday, May 22

An Idaho judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger's behalf. He remained silent when the judge asked him for his plea to each of the murder and burglary charges.

Friday, June 16

Prosecutors filed a court document stating Kohberger's DNA was a "statistical match" with DNA found on the knife used in the stabbings and found at the crime scene. The filing said an "STR" analysis - or short tandem repeat analysis - was used to compare the two samples.

Sunday, June 22

Kohberger's attorney Jay Logsdon submitted a court filing arguing that "there is no connection between Mr. Kohberger and the victims."

"There is no explanation for the total lack of DNA evidence from the victims in Mr. Kohberger's apartment, office, home, or vehicle," the attorney continued.

Friday, June 23

A judge denied two motions to either remove the gag order or be exempt from it. The judge said the case against Kohberger is high profile and he has a duty to not jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

Monday, June 26

Prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for Kohberger.

Wednesday, August 2

Kohberger's attorneys said they would use an alibi defense for their client but that they weren't able to pin down his specific location on the night of the killings because he was "driving during the late night and early morning hours."

"Mr. Kohberger is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time; at this time there is not a specific witness to say precisely where Mr. Kohberger was at each moment of the hours" of the attacks, said his attorneys in a court filing.

Wednesday, August 23

Judge John Judge agreed to delay Kohberger's trial, which was initially set to start on October 2. Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial. A new trial date has not yet been set.

Wednesday, August 23

Kohberger's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against him, according to court records. They cited a biased grand jury, inadmissible evidence, lack of sufficient evidence and prosecutorial misconduct by withholding exculpatory evidence.

Thursday, September 28

Prosecutors demanded customer information from Amazon related to the purchase of knives as part of their investigation, according to unsealed court documents.

Thursday, October 26

The judge denied one of two requests to dismiss the indictment against Kohberger. The judge's decision regarding the other request is yet to be released.

ABC News and CNN contributed to this report.