HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department say one of their deputies stopped the Idaho murder suspect for a traffic violation, but released the man with a warning prior to his arrest later in Pennsylvania.
At the time of the release there was no information related to the murders circulating among police agencies or media, officials said.
On Dec. 15, 2022, around 10:40 a.m., a member of the HCSD conducted a traffic stop with a white Hyundai Elantra on I-70 being driven by murder suspect, Bryan Kohberger. The Hyundai was pulled over just east of the rest park near the 107 mile marker for the violation of following too closely, officials said in a press release.
The vehicle was occupied by two males including the driver who was later identified as Kohberger. Both males can be seen on body-worn camera footage, officials said. The driver was released with a verbal warning for following another vehicle too closely.
When the traffic stop occurred, there was no information available on a suspect for the crimes in Idaho, officials said.
There was no identifying information or any specific details related to the license plate state or a white Hyundai Elantra being reported associated with the crime at the time local officials pulled the car over.
The Hyundai was also pulled over a short time later, officials said by a member of the Indiana State Police, who also released the driver with a verbal warning. Kohlberger was later arrested in Pennsylvania.
Kohberger, 28, is a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University. Officials say he had just finished his first semester on the school’s campus in Pullman, about a 15-minute drive west of Moscow, Idaho, where the slayings took place.
Kohberger waived an extradition hearing in Pennsylvania earlier this week and will be brought to Idaho to face murder charges.
Hancock County Sheriff’s body-worn camera footage captured the traffic stop and the vehicle occupants. Since the video is part of the active criminal investigation in Idaho, it is not being released at this time, local officials said. And, the department will not be releasing any additional information or granting any interviews.