Idaho murder suspect's father inadvertently helped police track down Bryan Kohberger


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Bryan Kohberger was arrested after a test on DNA traces left by his father Michael Kohberger at their home in Pennsylvania confirmed his paternity of the potential killer. The FBI collected trash from the Idaho murder suspect’s family home in an attempt to connect him to DNA found on a knife sheath found at the murder scene in Moscow, Idaho. Chief Genetic Genealogist CeCe Moore noted results proved pivotal to confirming police’s suspicions about Kohberger being near the scene of the crime, 

Dr Moore said: “This is pretty common when investigating genetic genealogy has pointed law enforcement toward a certain individual or family.

“They’ll do what’s called a trash pull – if they can’t just follow that person and pick something up that they dropped, then they’ll typically resort to waiting for that person to put their trash out on the kerb.

“And most states allow this, it’s considered abandoned at that point, and then they go through the trash and try to find an item that might have DNA on it.”

The genealogy expert noted having to find traces of Kohberger’s DNA at a home shared with his home family made the operation more difficult but his father Michael inadvertently contributed to tracking the suspected killer down with his own DNA.

Speaking to The Megyn Kelly Show, she continued: “When it’s a home like this, a household where there are multiple people, they don’t know exactly whose DNA they’re going to get.

“In this case, they found a male sample of DNA, and tested it and it wasn’t the suspects.

“However, they were able to perform what is basically a standard paternity test comparison to the profile from the button on the sheath and determined that that individual’s DNA from the trash was the father of the individual who left his DNA behind at the crime scene.”

Asked about the acceptability of the evidence at trial, Dr Moore said genealogical testing has long been accepted in courts.

She added: “It’s been accepted in courts for decades to establish paternity.

“It is extremely confident as we saw by the number 99.9998 percent so that means there’s basically no one else on earth who could be the father of that individual.”

Kohberger waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing during a status conference Thursday morning.

The 28-year-old is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary, and has not yet entered a plea and is waiting to learn whether prosecutors will pursue the death penalty.

At the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will be expected to show the magistrate judge that he has enough evidence to justify moving forward with the felony charges, and the defence will try to point out holes in the prosecutor’s case to show that the charges should be dropped.

If the magistrate judge agrees that there is evidence to justify the charges, the case will be “bound over” into Idaho’s 2nd District Court, and a district judge will take over.

Kohberger will then have a chance to enter a plea. If he pleads not guilty, the case will begin working toward a trial. If he pleads guilty, a sentencing hearing will be set.

The November 13 slayings of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin left the rural community in Moscow, Idaho, grief-stricken and afraid, prompting nearly half of the university’s students to leave town for the perceived safety of online courses.

Mogen and Goncalves had spent the evening before their death at a bar in Moscow whilst Kernodle and Chapin attended a party at a fraternity house on campus.

Their bodies were found by the women’s two surviving roommates in the late morning of November 13. The police excluded the pair from the investigation in the early days after the murder.

Kohberger, a graduate student studying criminology at Washington State University located just 10 miles (16 kilometers) away was arrested at his parents’ home in eastern Pennsylvania.



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