Shortly after the murder of four Idaho college students, Bryan Kohberger changed the license plates on his vehicle, according to multiple news reports.
Kohberger, a Pennsylvania native attending school in Washington State, previously had Pennsylvania plates on his 2015 white Hyundai Elantra, Newsweek reported.
However, on Nov. 18, just five days after the murder of four University of Idaho students, Kohberger changed his car from Pennsylvania plates to Washington plates.
Kohberger is accused of the deaths of University of Idaho students Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, as well as Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, both 20, as they slept in a house near the campus.
Authorities arrested him Friday at his parents’ home in Effort, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles north of Allentown, according to The New York Times.
A former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer, who is not involved in the murder investigation, told Newsweek that Kohberger’s recent license-plate change “is certainly interesting.”
She speculated that Kohberger “was starting to get worried about the fact that he did use his vehicle in the commission of that crime and likely wanted to change plates so that in the event that someone saw it, it would now have a completely different state on it,” Newsweek reported.
NEW: Five days after 4 Idaho college students were killed in their home at night, Bryan Kohberger got a new license plate for his car.
Kohberger, a criminology PhD student at a neighboring college, has since been charged in their murder.
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) January 5, 2023
NBC, citing documents obtained in a public records request, reported the newly-issued license plate matches the license plate shown in police body camera video when the Indiana State Police pulled over Kohberger and his father on Dec. 15 as they made their way to Pennsylvania.
In an odd sequence of events, Kohberger was reportedly stopped for following another vehicle too closely, released with a warning, and then was pulled over again less than 10 minutes later.
Some news outlets quoted a Fox News story from Wednesday that initially claimed the two traffic stops were done at the request of the FBI to obtain bodycam footage of the suspect.
Multiple news outlets, including the New York Post and the Daily Mail, ran stories to that effect Thursday, quoting a Fox News law enforcement source who said federal officials were particularly interested in finding out whether Kohberger showed any signs of cuts or bruises on his hands.
Fox News, however, appears to have backtracked on that story, which was originally published Wednesday.
By Thursday, Fox was instead running a story quoting the FBI as denying that they had requested the traffic stops.
“[T]he December 15th traffic stops conducted on the vehicle being driven by Bryan Kohberger in Indiana were not requested or directed by the FBI,” the agency’s statement to Fox News Digital said.
“He has said through a lawyer that he expects to be exonerated in the case,” the Times reported.
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