Friday, September 29, 2023
Friday, September 29, 2023
Friday, September 29, 2023

Investigators Delve into Bryan Kohberger’s Digital Footprint in Idaho College Murder Cases




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New court documents reveal that investigators are intensively examining the digital footprint of Bryan Kohberger, the suspect accused of murdering four college students in Idaho, Your Content has learned.

The documents include search warrant applications for Kohberger’s internet activity, phone records, as well as the social media accounts of the four victims. There is “probable cause to believe” that these records could potentially yield crucial evidence regarding the November killings of Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, and Madison Mogen at their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho.

Robert Boyce, a retired chief of detectives in the New York Police Department and ABC News contributor, emphasized the importance of scrutinizing the suspect’s online activities. He stated, “You want to see what he was looking up. You want to know what he was saying, whether under his or under an assumed name on these platforms. They want to establish his state of mind, who he talks to, and what he talks about. There could be probative materials there.”

The Latah County Prosecutor’s Office, leading the case against Kohberger, has not provided any comment on the ongoing investigation.

Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student in Washington State University’s department of criminal justice and criminology, was indicted last month on charges including four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. During his arraignment, he declined to enter a plea, leading the judge to enter a not guilty plea on his behalf. The trial is scheduled for October 2.

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Prosecutors allege that on November 13, 2022, Kohberger broke into an off-campus home and stabbed to death four University of Idaho students: Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylee Goncalves. After a six-week investigation, authorities tracked Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra, analyzed cell phone signal data, and recovered his DNA on a knife sheath found near one of the victims’ bodies. He was subsequently arrested on December 30 in Pennsylvania, where he had driven cross-country to spend the holidays at his family home in Albrightsville.

Although the murder weapon has not yet been located, investigators are diligently examining Kohberger’s online presence. Search warrant applications have been filed for his accounts on platforms such as Reddit, Google, and TikTok, as well as the Snapchat accounts of the four victims. Additional records from AT&T are also being reviewed.

Investigative documents reveal that authorities obtained information from Kohberger’s Reddit account, including public posts, private messages, saved files, photos, and location data. Earlier court filings had already provided records from Kaylee Goncalves’ Reddit account. Details in the arrest affidavit highlighted that Kohberger had previously posted a Reddit survey related to understanding the influence of emotions and psychological traits on decision-making during criminal activities.

From Kohberger’s Google account, investigators have extracted extensive records, including emails (including drafts and trash), hangouts and chats with photos, documents on Google Drive, and associated metadata. The warrant also granted access to search and browsing history, calendar events, contacts, Google Play purchases, and Google Pay transactions.

Furthermore, additional AT&T records were obtained for an unknown subscriber during the period of June 23, 2022, to August 1, 2022. These records include any available messages, files, logs, or deleted information, along with cell tower pings related to incoming and outgoing calls. Cell tower data had previously been instrumental in linking Kohberger to the crime scene.

Records from the internet service “Strava,” which allows users to track physical exercise and share performance on social networks, were also acquired. The filings indicate that the obtained information includes exercise data, session logs, geolocation data, contacts, and photos, with redactions for names and accounts. The search warrant application confirms that the records contain “information related to the investigation” into the students’ murders.

Additionally, the investigators retrieved records associated with the four victims’ Snapchat accounts. These records encompass communications, messages, logs of previous snaps, stories, chats, as well as all correspondence between Snapchat and the users, including interactions with support services and account suspensions.

Commenting on the significance of digital evidence, Boyce explained, “There’s a lot to this case, technology-wise. It’s an evolving and changing field, but it’s the best evidence you have because it’s irrefutable, unbiased, and human error-free. It may not be one knockout punch, but there could be overwhelming circumstantial evidence.”

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