A great deal of focus has been placed on vehicle stops by police to view murder suspect Bryan Kohberger’s hands days before his arrest— but those tactics may have accomplished a great deal more for the investigation.
Beyond first-hand viewing and body-cam image captures of the condition of Kohberger’s hands, those vehicle stops conceivably served to tie in Kohberger to several other key elements.
The early weeks of investigation into the November 13 murders of four college students were first met with scrutiny. With no suspect named after more than a month, the case seemed all but stalled.
Then on December 30, police in Pennsylvania arrested Kohberger with stark indicators pointing to his guilt, including his enrollment in a Phd program 10 miles from the site of the killings, and his ownership of a white Hyundai Elantra that became a focal point on the night the murders occurred.
It now becomes more apparent that the investigation developed Kohberger as a suspect through genetic genealogy — based on DNA recovered from the crime scene. And afterward, the FBI likely coordinated with uniformed police to orchestrate vehicle stops along Kohberger’s highway route from school during winter break to his family home in Pennsylvania.
Those cars stops might have seemed fortuitous, but hold the hallmarks of advanced coordination in a buildup of evidence...
Kohberger was in fact pulled over twice in Indiana in the span of an hour — by a county police officer and then a state trooper along the last leg of his travel route, accompanied by Kohberger’s father. Those cars stops might have seemed fortuitous, but now hold the hallmarks of advanced coordination in a buildup of evidence.
Verifying Cellphone Location
As the case progressed, experts and media commentators long presumed investigators have traced Kohberger’s movements through cellphone location data. The vehicle stop, when compared with contemporaneous cellphone data, places Kohberger with the specific cellphone that the investigation may reveal was linked to the crime scene. This serves as powerful evidence that could all but put the phone “in the hands” of Kohberger.
Links to the White Hyundai
In addition, these car stops stand to irrefutably link Kohberger — and his cellphone location data — to the white Hyundai Elantra that investigators in Idaho sought information on after the vehicle was captured on commercial surveillance cameras in proximity of the murder scene the night the murders occurred. With these elements tied together, the cellphone date and the vehicle become indelible links to Kohberger and accordingly buttress evidence that he committed the murders.
Tie-in to Kohberger’s Father
It has been widely reported that Kohberger’s father flew in to Washington state to join Kohberger on a road trip back to Pennsylvania for winter recess. Media outlets also reported that after his arrest, Kohberger asked if he was the only one arrested — which sent pundits off on tangents about possible accomplices. But the remark may have been about whether police charged Kohberger’s father as well.
Media reports claim the father/son road trip back from Washington had been pre-planned, perhaps well before the murders. But Kohberger could harbor concerns that circumstances could implicate his father as an accessory after-the-fact.
Police body-cam footage serves to place Kohberger together with his father — in the white Hyundai Elantra police have been looking for, with the presumptive matching cellphone data. Now, with footage from the car stops, Kohberger may fear police hold leverage in deciding whether to charge his father in aiding to bring the suspect vehicle far from the area of the murder scene.
Jason James Barry is an award-winning essayist and investigative journalist. He previously served as a police officer and as a DEA special agent. He is Editor-in-Chief of Prattlon Digital Media, and his essays appear in American Thinker, Great Pacific Review, Buzzard Digital, and elsewhere. For more information about Jason, visit his webpage at WriterJasonJames.com.