'False information': FBI debunks claims that it 'lost' Bryan Kohberger while he was under surveillance
This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.
MOSCOW, IDAHO: The FBI has debunked the claims that they lost track of Bryan Kohberger after he became a “person of interest” in the Idaho murder case. Kohberger is now awaiting trial in the brutal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin that took place in Moscow, Idaho on November 13.
The surveillance teams were tasked to watch the 28-year-old criminology PhD student but sources close to them told Air Mail’s 'The Eyes of a Killer: Part Two' that they "lost" Kohberger when he went on a cross-country drive with his father from Washington State University to his family home in Pennsylvania in the early hours of December 13. The sources then added that Kohberger managed to get away almost as soon as his white Hyundai Elantra pulled out of the parking lot at his graduate housing complex.
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The outlet reported that for the next several hours the prime suspect in the high-profile murder case had “seemingly vanished." In a desperate attempt to find out the whereabouts of Kohberger, investigators scoured automated licence-plate readers (ALPRs) in nearby states, the report added. It also claimed the surveillance operation resumed only hours later after they finally traced the car in Loma, Colorado, which is 900 miles away and a 15-hour drive from Pullman.
Body cam footage of Bryan Kohberger, with his dad in the car with him, being stopped by Indiana State Police in Hancock County on December 15th. #BryanKohberger #BodyCamFootage #Idaho4 #MoscowMurders #BryanChristopherKohberger pic.twitter.com/vV1ubxY7j7— CrimeWithKenz (@crimewithkenz) January 3, 2023
What does the FBI say?
An FBI spokesperson completely denied the shocking claim, calling it “false information” that “is not helpful to the case against Kohberger or to the American public.” “The FBI is aware of reports detailing alleged FBI surveillance on Idaho murder subject Brian Kohberger,” the spokesperson said in a statement, according to Independent. “There are anonymous sources providing false information to the media. Publishing of false information attributable to anonymous sources is not helpful to the case against Kohberger or to the American public.”
Currently at the Latah County Courthouse and County Jail where #BryanKohberger will be transported this afternoon. As you can see there are news organizations surrounding the building, and cars all throughout the parking lot. #currentnews pic.twitter.com/3eRMUWCt3n— The Daily Evergreen (@DailyEvergreen) January 4, 2023
Kohberger and his father were pulled over twice while they drove through Indiana, during the 2,500-mile cross-country journey to Pennsylvania. The father-son duo was stopped twice, only a few minutes apart, on December 15, once by county and the other time by state police, for driving too close to a vehicle in front.
The bodycam footage released by the authorities showed an alarmed Kohberger driving the white Elantra car with his father in the passenger's seat. The general public was already aware of the brutal murders by then and they were asked to look out for a white Elantra car in connection to the Idaho killings. However, both the prime suspect and his father got away scot-free after they spoke cordially with the officer, who allowed them to leave without any warning and did not make any connection to the vehicle.
The authorities kept a close watch on Kohberger after he reached the family home near the Poconos mountains. He was spotted dumping trash in a neighbor's bin one night, which later came in handy after the cops seized it. The DNA evidence found on it was used to link him to a knife sheath left behind by the killer at the victims’ home, according to an affidavit.
Kohberger was subsequently arrested in an early-morning raid on the family home on December 30.
What else did the affidavit reveal?
The affidavit which was released in January disclosed new details as to why the authorities suspected Kohberger but still could not establish any connection between him and the victims. The documents stated that Kohberger may have stalked the students' home before killing them as cellphone data showed him around the property 12 times before November 13.
The suspect switched off his phone in order to avoid detection at the time of the murders, investigators suspect. But cellphone data showed him close to the home on King Road at around 9 am on November 13, with the affidavit revealing that he returned to the crime scene just hours after allegedly murdering the four victims at around 4 am.
The affidavit stated that other evidence also played a key role in Kohberger's arrest. According to the affidavit, police said that Kohberger's DNA was found on a knife sheath left behind at the scene, and his white Hyundai Elantra was caught on surveillance footage at the crime scene at the time of the murders. Investigators seized a string of items from his home including possible human and animal hair strands, a disposable glove, items with red and brown stains, and a computer, the unsealed documents revealed.
Kohberger is next scheduled to appear in court on June 26 for his preliminary hearing.