‘I broke down and cried’: Father of murdered Idaho student Maddie Mogen describes moment he learned suspect Bryan Kohberger had been arrested – and still can’t bring himself to read whole police affidavit

  • Ben Mogen, father of slain University of Idaho student Maddie Mogen, described his relief when investigators told him they had finally arrested a suspect 
  • Mogen also said he could not bring himself to read the full affidavit, detailing how police believe suspect Bryan Kohberger killed Maddie and her friends
  • The document details how Kohberger allegedly staked out the college student’s home 12 times and that his phone signal vanished during the murders  
  • The sister of Maddie’s best friend noted the duo had done everything right to avoid danger that night but still met a tragic end 

The father of slain University of Idaho student Maddie Mogen said he felt relieved when a suspect was arrested but is heartbroken over the details of her death. 

Ben Mogen, who had been patiently waiting for weeks for news about his 21-year-old daughter’s murderer, had a big smile when telling Good Morning America about the moment an investigator told him they had arrested suspect Bryan Kohberger.

‘He said, “Ben, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for,'” Mogen recalled. 

The grieving father, however, said he could not bring himself to read the full police affidavit describing how they believed Kohberger killed Maddie and her best friend Kaylee Goncalves, 21, as well as Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20.

‘I just broke down, and I just cried,’ Mogen said about the document. ‘I could only take so much of that. I still haven’t read the rest of it.’ 

While details of the affidavit have been made public, an Idaho judge recently sealed a search warrant for Kohberger’s Washington apartment because it risked causing a premature end of the investigation.  

Ben Mogen (above), father of slain University of Idaho student Maddie Mogen, described his relief when investigators told him they had finally arrested a suspect

Suspect Bryan Kohberger (pictured) faces the death penalty for the quadruple murder

As he spoke with GMA, the grieving father also described is daughter as ‘an angel’ who always made him proud. 

Along with Mogen, Kaylee’s sister, Alivea Goncalves, spoke about how the two best friends did everything right when going out that night before meeting their grisly end. 

‘They went out together, they called for a ride, went to a known establishment,’ Alivea listed. ‘They did everything you would want your daughter, or your sister, to do in that situation.’ 

She added that her family and the Mogens are still reeling from the tragedy that claimed their loved ones’ lives on November 13. 

‘We’re left with not only missing them, exactly who they were, but wondering who they were going to become,’ Alivea said.  

Kohberger, 28, was arrested in the early hours of December 30 at his family’s home in Pennsylvania and subsequently charged in connection to the quadruple murder of the Idaho students. 

Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman, Washington, was combed by police for evidence into the ongoing investigation.

The suspected murderer is a Pennsylvania native and was studying criminology at the University of Washington’s Pullman campus, which is a 15-minute drive from Moscow, Idaho, where the murders took place. 

Kohberger has claimed he’s innocent while being locked up at the Latah County jailhouse in Idaho.  

Ben (pictured with his daughter) said he could not bring himself to read the full affidavit detailing how police believe Kohberger killed Maddie and her friends 

Alivea Goncalves (above), sister of Kaylee, noted the duo had done everything right to avoid danger that night but still met a tragic end

Kohberger has been charged in connection with the quadruple murder of Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen (left), both 21, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20 (right)

According to the police affidavit, Kohberger allegedly staked his victims’ home 12 times and was even at the home the morning of the murder. 

His DNA was also found on the knife sheath that was left lying next to one of the victim’s bodies. 

The document also shows that on that night,  Kohberger’s phone pinged a cell tower close to his apartment in Pullman.

It then is seen leaving the area of his residence at 2:47am and traveling south through Pullman – which cops have confirmed lines up with the movements of his white Hyundai caught on camera.

His phone then stops reporting to the network, with FBI experts confirming that it is consistent with the phone being turned off, on airplane mode or in an area without phone coverage.

Court documents show that his phone is not active again until 4.48am, in the southbound lane of Highway 95 just south of Moscow. Police believe the victims were slain between 4am and 4:25am. 

Search warrant documents – filed the same day as his arrest – state that ‘compelling circumstances warrant the temporary sealing ordered in this matter.’ The information will remain secret until March 1.

Language used in the court document has left some questioning what the ‘threat to public safety’ and ‘threat to the privacy of witnesses, victims and victim families names in the affidavit’ could be. 

The documents were filed before Kohberger’s identity was widely reported.   

The court documents emerged following a gag order released by the Moscow Police Department last week.

Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a nondissemination order on January 3 in regard to the murder case against Kohberger.

‘The order prohibits any communication by investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and agents of the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney concerning this case,’ police said in a release.

‘Due to this court order, the Moscow Police Department will no longer be communicating with the public or the media regarding this case.’


Court documents filed the same day as his arrest state ‘compelling circumstances warrant the temporary sealing ordered in this matter.’ The information will remain secret until March 1


Bestfriends Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, both 21, were murdered along with roommate Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20 in an off-campus home in Moscow

Kohberger has been charged with four counts of first degree murder and one of felony burglary, prosecutor Bill Thompson said at the time of the arrest.

Idaho is a death penalty state. Fry defended the scarcity of information released during the investigation. Providing more, ‘might have alerted the suspect of our progress,’ he said.

Kohberger’s arrest is the culmination of an investigation that has dragged on for more than a month and left the Moscow Police Department facing a barrage of criticism.

Cops have also been criticized for describing the murders as ‘targeted’ while refusing to release any information to explain why.

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