Bryan Kohberger’s DNA profile linked to evidence in newly released court docs

Posted at 7:24 AM, June 21, 2023 and last updated 9:24 AM, June 21, 2023

By: Cooper McCauley

MOSCOW, Idaho (Scripps News Boise) — A new filing has been released in the case of the University of Idaho killings, which expands on an affidavit released in January.

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a motion hearing

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a motion hearing regarding a gag order, Friday, June 9, 2023, in Latah County District Court in Moscow, Idaho.  (Zach Wilkinson/Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP, Pool)

These documents brought details of the case into the public eye for the first time, including the methods police and the FBI used to hone in on their suspect. At the time, the affidavit confirmed that DNA on the knife sheath recovered from the crime scene was linked to Kohberger.

RELATED: Affidavit details case against Idaho student killing suspect Bryan Kohberger

The FBI created a DNA profile using the knife sheath with the hopes of testing it against a sample from Kohberger.

According to recently released documents, a short tandem repeat (STR) profile was developed using the evidence on the knife sheath. This process identifies protein sequences in a sample that can be compared to someone’s DNA profile. Because these sequences are unique, a statistical match can be made based on these STR profiles.

The STR profile was compared against Kohberger’s own DNA sample from a cheek swab, and profile scientists concluded that “the STR profile is at least 5.37 octillion times more likely to be seen if Defendant is the source than if an unrelated individual randomly selected from the population is the source.”

home where four University of Idaho students were found dead

FILE – Bare spots are seen on Nov. 29, 2022, in the snowy parking lot in front of the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead on Nov. 13, in Moscow, Idaho, after vehicles belonging to the victims and others were towed away earlier in the day.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The documents also outline a protective order sealing the development of the DNA profile and documentation related to the creation of the genealogical family tree used to identify Kohberger as a suspect.

Details on the sheath used in the creation of the STR profile were also released in the documents which added that the sheath was “partially under Madison’s body and the comforter on the bed.”

Prosecutors have not announced if they intend to seek the death penalty in Kohberger’s case.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.