FBI DENIES team ‘lost’ Idaho murders suspect on cross-country road trip to Pennsylvania
The FBI has denied it lost the Idaho murders suspect on a cross-country trip to Pennsylvania.
Sources had told AirMail’s Howard Blum, who is penning a true-crime book on the horrific slayings, that the ‘chief suspect in a quadruple homicide that had shocked the nation had seemingly vanished’ for hours.
However, the FBI is now denying that they lost Bryan Kohberger and said sources were feeding the media with ‘false information.’
‘The FBI is aware of reports detailing alleged FBI surveillance on Idaho murder subject Bryan Kohberger,’ the FBI told DailyMail.com in a statement on Thursday. ‘There are anonymous sources providing false information to the media. Publishing false information attributed to anonymous sources is not helpful to the case against Kohberger or to the American public.
The FBI has denied it lost Idaho murders suspect on cross-country trip to Pennsylvania
Authorities had planned to keep a close eye on the criminology student, 28, as he and his dad traveled more than 2,500 miles back to Pennsylvania for the holidays.
Kohberger and his father, Michael, left Pullman, Washington, where he was studying at Washington State University but were almost immediately lost by the FBI.
The pair had just been pulled out of the parking lot of his graduate housing before he vanished from the sight of police – before being pulled over twice as he made his way back to the family home.
A Hancock County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Kohberger was pulled over by a deputy at around 10.41am on December 15.
Kohberger was pulled over twice within nine minutes while driving along I-70 in December, looking more concerned on the second occasion.
After that, Blum claimed that Kohberger and his father ‘vanished’ for 15 hours.
Blum’s sources claimed that law enforcement let up on the potentially disastrous slip-up ‘with a bristle of embarrassment.’
Kohberger and his father Michael left Pullman, Washington, where he was studying at Washington State University, but were almost immediately lost by the FBI.
Blum added: ‘It would be a disaster — not just professionally, but also for their own peace of mind.’
It also meant that the white Hyundai Elantra that officers painstakingly tracked down and linked him to the murders in the first place had also vanished.
Kohberger also reportedly took an ‘indirect route home’ with Michael telling a friend it was one that ‘made little sense.’
This FBI surveillance quickly went from ‘panic to despair’ according to Blum, who added that they only picked him up again after an automatic license plate reader picked up his car in Colorado.
Kohberger and his vehicle were identified 900 miles after the cops initially lost them – around 15 hours from when they set off.
Two stops by Indiana Police also left the FBI ‘frustrated and angry’, insisting that they were not ordered to pull him over by lead investigators.
They feared Kohberger could flee or be arrested too soon if local cops recognized the car from appeals.
However, on both occasions, the suspected killer was let go, which allowed the agents to follow the car back to the Pocono Mountains.
A SWAT team later swooped on the property, arresting Kohberger and raiding the home for evidence.
Those tracking him were also tasked with tracking Kohberger so they could arrest him as soon as a warrant was issued, as well as trying to get hold of an object to compare DNA to a sample found at the scene.
Law enforcement saw the suspect multiple times outside of his parents’ $250,000 Pennsylvania home wearing surgical gloves.
Kohberger was also seen cleaning the inside and outside of his car, with a source adding that he didn’t ‘miss an inch.’
And he was reportedly spotted taking out the trash to his neighbors’ bins at around 4am – the contents were recovered by officers.
Officers called to the scene of the bloody crime on November 13 quickly discovered a K-Bar knife sheath next to the bodies of Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.
Unsealed court documents show the painstaking work done by officers, who matched the DNA found on the sheath to Kohberger’s by comparing it to his father’s DNA – which was a 99.9998 percent match, and identified via a genetic genealogy website.
He has been charged with the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Ethan Chapin, 20, on November 13.
Court documents recently revealed that police discovered a pillow covered in ‘blood’ in Kohberger’s Washington apartment.
A new search warrant, made public on January 17, shows that police found several hair strands, including one suspected animal hair, a black glove, a computer tower and one unnamed item with a collection of ‘dark red spots.’
They also hauled away a pillow with a ‘reddish/brown stain’ on it and the top and bottom of a mattress cover with ‘multiple stains.’
Investigators who raided the property back in December also picked up receipts from Walmart and two Marshall’s receipts, as well as collecting the contents of his vacuum cleaner.
Authorities initially sealed the search warrant for the murder suspect’s Washington home – arguing that releasing the details could ‘prematurely’ end the investigation.
However, the document has since been unsealed with the approval of Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy, who filed the motion on January 17.
Court documents show that eight strands of hair were recovered from the apartment, as well as a ‘possible’ animal hair.
They also recovered a Fire TV stick during their search. All the items are now being stored at the Washington State University Police Department.
Authorities reportedly said they wanted to see if any hair had been “transferred” onto Kohberger and then back to his apartment — including that of Kaylee Goncalves’ dog Murphy.
Murphy was found alive in Kaylee’s room by investigators who were called to the scene, and has now been returned to her ex-boyfriend.
The application also stated that the home where the students were murdered had a significant amount of blood from the victims – including ‘spatter and castoff blood’.
Investigators believed that it was likely that the killer would have had blood evidence on their body or clothing, and hoped to find trace evidence in Kohberger’s apartment.
However, they did not describe the results of any of the testing in the documents, and did not confirm if any hairs found matched the victims or Kaylee’s dog.
His offices at Washington State University were also searched, but nothing was seized by officers.