Idaho murders: Bryan Kohberger investigation clues revealed as court unseals heavily redacted documents
Nearly a month after a tactical raid in the Poconos led to the arrest of Idaho student murders suspect Bryan Kohberger, police sought a search warrant for his Tinder activity, heavily redacted court records reveal.
Dozens of sealed warrants became public Friday, but only in an extremely limited fashion.
The documents have been stripped of information that would show what police uncovered or what they knew when they asked for the warrants, however, they reveal that detectives are still gathering evidence and shed some new light on how they made their way through the complicated investigation that led them more than 2,500 miles from Pullman, Washington, to Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. And they could indicate which of the four victims was the prime target.
And police may still be searching for a motive, said Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant and head of the Bronx cold case squad who is now a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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"All those kinds of things you need to look at to try to determine what's going on," he told Fox News Digital. "Unfortunately, we're missing so many pieces of the puzzle that it's difficult for outsiders to put this together."
On Nov. 13, 2022, Kohberger is accused of entering a home on King Road, just off the edge of the University of Idaho campus, around 4 a.m.
He had allegedly stalked the location at least a dozen times prior, according to previously released court documents.
Hours after the murders, police responded to a 911 call and found four undergrads stabbed to death. Three of them lived in the home: Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, and Xana Kernodle, 20. The fourth victim, Kernodle's 20-year-old boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, lived across the street at the Sigma Chi fraternity house and was sleeping over.
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Police quickly interviewed witnesses and seized the contents of three dumpsters nearby. The earliest warrants sought cell tower data near the crime scene and other phone records. Looking for a potential money trail, they obtained warrants for the victims' PayPal and Venmo accounts in addition to banking records.
On Nov. 20, detectives asked for Goncalves' Reddit data; on Dec. 1, they looked into her Yahoo account; on Dec. 5, they obtained a warrant for her Google data; and on Dec. 12, they sought decrypted access to her cloud data from a company called Extreme Networks.
"With Kaylee, I think that somehow he was tracking her," John Kelly, a criminal profiler and psychotherapist, said of the alleged suspect Tuesday. "And I don’t think it's a coincidence Kaylee hadn’t been living there. So, now the weekend that Kaylee comes back is the weekend that this guy hits."
Goncalves was set to graduate and was preparing to move to Texas for a new job, and she returned to Moscow from her home two hours away in part to show off her new SUV, her family previously told Fox News. The day before the murders, she posted images to social media, including her public Instagram, showing that she was in town and went out to a favorite local watering hole, the Corner Club, with her best friend, Mogen.
On Nov. 21, police sought numerous records from Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, from between Aug. 1 and Nov. 20.
On Nov. 29, detectives obtained a sweeping warrant for Goncalves' Tinder activity from Jan. 1, 2021, to present, including all "subscriber information, conversation history, photos and videos belonging to account holders communicating with Kaylee Goncalves."
The results came in roughly a week later, on Dec. 5, and detectives quickly sought new warrants, one for Mogen's Tinder data in the same time frame and another for 19 redacted usernames throughout most of November. Publicly, police were asking for tips involving the series of events at a frat party attended by Chapin and Kernodle between 9 p.m. on Nov. 12 and 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13 while urging the public to avoid speculation or unvetted information.
Tinder provided the information on Dec. 7, court records show, the same day Moscow police publicly asked for information on the suspect vehicle, a white Hyundai Elantra that Washington State University campus cops had identified and linked to Kohberger on Nov. 25.
It would be another two weeks before detectives sought additional information from Tinder's parent company, Match.
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On Dec. 22, they sought a warrant for information on another 20 redacted names for a period between March 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021.
As they were pursuing this data, they had secretly tracked Kohberger from his apartment at Washington State University back to his parents' house in Pennsylvania, where confiscated trash provided familial DNA matching what was left behind on a Ka-Bar knife sheath found next to Mogen's body.
Since late November, the court records show, police also sought information on Ka-Bar sales across the country, serving warrants on Walmart, eBay and the Ka-Bar manufacturer itself. Then on Dec. 12, they obtained a warrant for Blue Ridge Knives, a Virginia-based wholesaler.
Police arrested Kohberger at his parents' house on Dec. 30, entering to find him in shorts and a T-shirt, wearing latex gloves and stuffing his personal trash into Ziploc bags in the kitchen.
Police recovered knives, a handgun, masks, gloves, black clothing, computers and a phone, among dozens of other items. They seized his Hyundai and tore it apart in search of additional evidence.
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On Jan. 3, police obtained a search warrant for two year's worth of data on Kohberger's Google account.
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It wasn't until Jan. 25, nearly a month after Kohberger's arrest, that police sought a warrant for his Tinder data from June 2022 to present.
The same day, they went after his Yik Yak – an app that allows users to chat based on a 5-mile radius – and obtained another search warrant for a DropBox account.
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Police obtained a search warrant seeking UPS truck surveillance video from Nov. 6 to Nov. 14.
Kohberger is being held without bail at the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho, on four charges of first-degree murder and another for burglary.