Prosecutors in University of Idaho murders case seek tech company records

Image: Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Matt Rourke / Pool via AP) (Matt Rourke)

Prosecutors are seeking data from major tech firms, social media platforms and retailers in the investigation into Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger, recently filed court documents revealed.

The prosecution is asking for information from Apple, Amazon, Google, DoorDash, Meta, SnapChat and Tinder, as well as Walmart and KA-BAR knives, court search warrant applications showed.

Kohberger is charged with killing four University of Idaho students in a home not far from the Moscow, Idaho, campus late last year.

DNA on a knife sheath left at the murder scene is alleged to tied him to the Nov. 13 slayings, authorities have said.

Kohberger has not entered a plea, and his attorney in Idaho could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

“I can almost guarantee that one of the prime defense strategies will be that the prosecution got tunnel vision, that they focused on him and stopped looking for anybody else, that they didn’t chase down any other leads," NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said Monday.

“As the defense investigates this and comes up with any leads of their own, then it’s going to be up to the prosecution to have looked at everything too — social media, work history, a love triangle, anything that could have motivated somebody else," he said.

Prosecutors are also seeking bank and social media information tied to the four victims as they build a digital picture of the crime and the suspect, a 28-year-old grad student, search warrant applications showed.

"They're trying to find out to find out if there is a hidden link that could explain the motive," said Casey Jordan, who teaches justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

Prosecutors are "gathering every single conceivable piece of evidence so that if any doubt is raised, they will always be ready" to answer in court, Jordan said.

A preliminary hearing is set for June, when prosecutors will have to show they have enough evidence to bring Kohberger to trial in the deaths of Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Kohberger was arrested early Dec. 30 in Pennsylvania.

When police entered his family's home, they found Kohberger wearing gloves and "taking his personal trash and putting it into separate" bags, away from the rest of household garbage, Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso said.

Kohberger's attorney in Idaho could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

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