The devastated father of murdered University of Idaho student Madison Mogen has revealed he had just ‘break down and cried’ when he learned his daughter’s alleged killer had been arrested by the police.
Ben Mogen had clung to hope that the murderer who viciously stabbed his daughter to death alongside his friends Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin would be brought to justice.
Finally, seven weeks after the November 13 murders, an investigator told him that a suspect – Bryan Kohberger – had finally been arrested and charged with their murders.
Mr. Mogen spoke about when he learned of the breakup of the affair on ABC “hello america” this week.
“He said, ‘Well, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for,'” he said, the officer told him.
“I just broke down and just cried.”
The grieving father said learning of Mr Kohberger’s arrest felt like “a huge weight that has been lifted”.
But, despite his relief, he revealed he couldn’t bring himself to read Mr Kohberger’s full arrest affidavit – a document that outlines chilling new details about the horrific murders and explains what happened. led investigators to the suspect.
“I could only take so much of it,” he said of the document.
“I still haven’t read the rest.”
The affidavit, released last week when Mr Kohberger was extradited to Moscow, Idaho, reveals how his daughter and best friend Goncalves were found with multiple stab wounds in the same single bed in Mogen’s bedroom. .
A knife sheath was found on the bed next to Mogen’s body, left behind by the killer.
Investigators said Mr Kohberger’s DNA was found on the sheath – matching it to the 28-year-old through the use of a genetic geneology website and comparing it to the DNA of his father recovered from trash seized from the family home in Pennsylvania.
Cellphone data also suggests that Mr. Kohberger stalked the student’s home at least 12 times before the night of the murders, according to the affidavit. The exact dates and times of these instances were not disclosed in the affidavit, but all but one occurred late at night or early in the morning.
At the time of the murders, investigators believe Mr Kohberger turned off his mobile phone in an attempt to avoid detection.
However, cellphone data puts him near the house on King Road around 9am on November 13 – suggesting he returned to the crime scene just hours after he allegedly murdered the four victims around 4am morning.
In addition to cellphone data and DNA evidence, the affidavit reveals that a white Hyundai Elantra spotted at the crime scene at the time of the murders was also traced to the suspect.
One of the victims’ surviving roommates was also able to partially describe the killer to investigators after coming face-to-face with him following the killings in the early hours of November 13.
The motive for the killings is unknown and it remains unclear why Mr. Kohberger allegedly targeted the victims.
A lawyer representing Goncalves’ family said “no connection” was found between the four students and the suspect.
Now the families of the four victims will have to wait at least another six months before they can get more answers about their children’s murders, after his next court date was pushed back to June.
Mr. Kohberger appeared at the Latah County Courthouse on Thursday for his status hearing, where he waived his right to a speedy trial.
Mr Kohberger’s public defender, Anne Taylor, then requested that his next court date be pushed back to June.
The prosecution granted the request and the judge scheduled the preliminary hearing for the week of June 26.
The whole week has been set aside for the hearing – when the evidence in the case against Mr Kohberger will first be presented in court and he is likely to plead the charges.
His request for a delay before the next court appearance came after the defense asked the prosecution to turn over all findings in the case within the next 14 days – including witness statements, digital media and police reports.
Ms Taylor told the judge that waiving the 14-day deadline would give the defense more time to consider all the evidence in the case.
Until then, Mr Kohberger will be held behind bars in Latah County Jail after being ordered to be held without bond for the second time.
Mr Kohberger did not plead guilty at Thursday’s hearing – his second appearance in an Idaho court since his extradition from Pennsylvania last week.
However, he reportedly intends to fight the allegations with Jason LaBar, the attorney who represented in Pennsylvania, saying Mr Kohberger was “eager to be exonerated”.
His last court appearance coincided with the start of the spring semester at the University of Idaho, with many students returning to campus this week for the first time since the brutal murders.
Several students expressed relief that the suspect is now behind bars, with second student Ryder Paslay telling KXLY he was “breathing [a] sigh of relief” when news of Mr. Kohberger’s arrest broke on December 30.
“I think a lot of people are a lot happier and in a better mood,” he said.
As a doctoral student in criminal justice at Washington State University, Mr. Kohberger lived just 15 minutes from the victims across the Idaho-Washington border in Pullman.
He had moved there from Pennsylvania to begin his studies in August and has just completed his first semester.
Prior to that, he studied criminology at DeSales University – first as an undergraduate, then graduating in June 2022.
There, he studied with famed forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland who interviewed serial killer BTK and co-wrote the book. Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of BTK Killer Dennis Rader with him.
He also conducted a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making during the commission of a crime”.
On December 30, he was arrested during an early morning raid on his family home in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, where he had been vacationing.
He was extradited to Idaho and his white Hyundai Elantra was seized by investigators.
The murder weapon – a knife with a fixed blade – has not yet been found.
Now he faces life in prison or the death penalty for the murders that rocked the small university town of Moscow and grabbed headlines around the world.