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During a press conference Friday afternoon, Moscow Police Chief James Fry confirmed the arrest of a 28-year-old man, who was detained in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, some 2,400 miles east of where the murders occurred.
“These murders have shaken our community, and no arrest will ever bring back these young students,” Fry said. “However, we do believe justice will be found through the criminal process.”
Fry was followed by Bill Thompson, the Latah County prosecutor, who said the suspect has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in addition to a count of felony burglary with intent to commit a murder. Because the suspect is in the process of being extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho, the probable cause affidavit charging the suspect will not be released until he has appeared in an Idaho court, which may take some time.
“This is not the end of the investigation, this is a new beginning,” Thompson said, asking the public to continue sending information about the suspect and the crime.
When asked what piece of evidence or lead led to the suspect’s arrest, Fry said he could not answer at this time, as the information is part of the investigation and cannot be released until the suspect has appeared in an Idaho court. The police chief also stood behind the decision to keep information relating to the investigation out of the public eye.
Fry did say that police have not located the weapon but had located a Hyundai Elantra they had been seeking in connection to the crime.
The suspect, who is not being named per Daily Wire policy, is an Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, native, and a graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, less than 10 miles from Moscow. The suspect was pursuing his Ph.D in criminal justice and criminology, Heavy reported, and had previously studied psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. While at DeSales, the suspect reportedly worked as a student investigator for a survey exploring motives behind crimes. One question in the survey reportedly asked, “Why did you choose that victim or target over others?” Another asked, “After committing the crime, what were you thinking and feeling?”
On November 13, police responded to a call around noon at the off-campus residence where the murders occurred. There they found the bodies of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, all of whom had been stabbed multiple times.
Earlier on Friday, a cleaning crew was supposed to clean up the residence where the murders occurred, but the cleaning was halted by a court order, Fry said at the press conference.