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Criminal justice postgrad charged with murdering 4 Idaho university students

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(Reuters) – A Washington State University graduate student pursuing a criminal justice degree has been charged with first-degree murder after being arrested in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students more than six weeks ago. Charges have been filed, officials said Friday.

According to James Fry, police chief in Moscow, Idaho, where the University of Idaho campus is located, police in eastern Pennsylvania arrested 28-year-old Brian Christopher Coberger on Thursday night under a warrant for the fugitive’s arrest. Detained. Fry said Coberger lives in Pennsylvania.

Coberger was arraigned in Pennsylvania and remained in prison without bail pending a hearing on Tuesday, said Rata County, Idaho Attorney Bill Thompson, who has given up extradition and voluntarily moved to Idaho. It said it would decide whether to return to the court and face charges.

Coberger was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony robbery, for a crime that unnerved a small college town in the northwestern Panhandle of Idaho, Thompson said. victims (three women and one man in his early twenties) were murdered.

The four were found stabbed to death in the off-campus home of the three women on the morning of November 13.

Two other female roommates who were in the house at the time were unharmed and apparently slept during the killing. said to have been used.

“This is not the end of the investigation, it’s actually a new beginning,” Thompson told a news conference.

Victim – Ethan Chapin, age 20, of Conway, Washington. Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona. Madison Morgen, 21, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Her 21-year-old Cary Gonsalves, from Rathdrum, Idaho, all suffered multiple stab wounds, Fry said. Fry said defensive wounds were also found on some bodies, suggesting that they were trying to fend off attackers.

night out before killing

Chapin and his girlfriend Carnodol had attended a fraternity party the night before, while best friends Morgen and Goncalves had visited a local bar and food truck. I was. Her two other roommates had returned home about an hour earlier.

Authorities say they believe the killing took place between 3:00 and 4:00 am on November 13.

Victims were apparently killed with knives or other “sharp” weapons, police said. Frye said police had found a vehicle they were searching in connection with the killing, but the murder weapon had not been recovered.

Coberger was a graduate student at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington, about 10 miles from the University of Idaho campus, officials said.

The WSU released a statement on Friday saying its police department and Idaho law enforcement officers searched both Coberger’s apartment residence and his office on campus.

Coberger said he “finished his first semester as a PhD student in the WSU’s criminal justice program earlier this month,” and noted that he spent several weeks across the Idaho state line on campus miles from the scene of the crime. suggested. to Pennsylvania.

Asked at a press conference in Moscow if authorities were looking for additional suspects, Fry said: “The individuals who committed these horrific crimes are in custody and I believe our community is safe.” increase.

Frye said his department, with the help of state police and the FBI, received more than 19,000 pieces of information from the public and conducted more than 300 interviews as part of the investigation. He and Thompson urged anyone who knew anything about the accused killer to come forward.

He declined to provide a possible motive for the crime or provide details of the investigation, including how authorities tracked Coberger to Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.

Thompson said more details would come from an affidavit of probable cause outlining the factual basis for the charges, but it would remain sealed in court until the suspect physically returned to Idaho and an arrest warrant was issued. remain.

Reporting by Rich McKay of Atlanta and Steve Gorman of Los Angeles. Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago and Jonathan Allen in New York. Editing by David Gregorio and Neil Flick

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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