Court Filing Reveals DNA Evidence Against Kohberger

DNA on knife sheath a 'statistical match' to suspect
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2023 5:35 AM CDT
DNA on Knife Sheath Is a 'Statistical Match' to Kohberger
Bryan Kohberger listens during a motion hearing regarding a gag order for a case against Bryan Kohberger in Latah County District Court, Friday, June 9, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho.   (Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP, Pool)

DNA on a knife sheath found at the home where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last fall is a "statistical match" to that collected from suspect Bryan Kohberger, prosecutors disclosed in a court filing. In the June 16 filing, prosecutors said the STR profile, a common type of DNA profiling, is "at least 5.37 octillion times more likely to be seen if (the) Defendant is the source than if an unrelated individual randomly selected from the general population is the source," per CNN. An octillion is a thousand trillion trillion, or a 1 followed by 27 zeroes, CNN notes.

The knife sheath was found near the bodies of Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, according to court documents. The documents state that the FBI "went to work building family trees of the genetic relatives to the suspect DNA" using publicly available genealogy sites, which "pointed law enforcement" toward Kohberger. The DNA from the knife sheath was initially compared to DNA found on items taken from the trash outside the Kohberger family home in Pennsylvania last year, CBS reports. Investigators took a DNA swab from the cheek of the 28-year-old suspect after his arrest.

The information on the DNA comparison appeared in a motion seeking to block the release of some information on the search from defense lawyers, Law & Crime reports. "The State seeks to protect from disclosure the names and personal information of the hundreds of innocent relatives on the family tree, the names of the publicly available genetic genealogy services used, and certain other information," prosecutors wrote. Kohberger, who has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, is being held without bail. His trial is due to begin October 2. (More Bryan Kohberger stories.)

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