Bryan Kohberger Investigation: Is This the Murder Weapon Used to Kill University of Idaho Students?

University of Idaho Murder Victims

Over 60 search warrant applications filed by the Moscow Police Department have been unsealed over the past week and obtained by Inside Edition Digital, including six seeking information about the sale of a KA-BAR knife.

New details are emerging about the investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students prior to the arrest of suspect Bryan Kohberger.

Over 60 search warrant applications filed by the Moscow Police Department have been unsealed over the past week and obtained by Inside Edition Digital, including six seeking information about the sale of a KA-BAR knife.

The judge overseeing the Kohberger murder trial approved all six of those applications, writing in her order that the documents succeeded in "showing probable cause establishing grounds for issuing search warrant and probable cause to believe that the property referred to and sought in or upon said premises consists of information for the crime(s) of homicide."

Evidence obtained by investigators at that time included a leather knife sheath found at the murder scene, and the expert determination by Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt that the murder weapon "would have been a bigger knife" following her autopsies of the four victims.

These applications were also filed prior to the arrest of Kohberger, and sought information from five retailers: Amazon, Walmart, Blue Ridge Knives, KA-BAR Knives, and eBay.

There were two separate applications submitted to eBay.  


The warrants instructed each retailer to provide information about any individual who had purchased a KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife or a KA-BAR 1217S.

The KA-BAR 1217S is a leather sheath for holding the 1217 model, and is stamped with the words "KA-BAR" and "USMC," the abbreviation for the United States Marine Corps. 

Investigators did not find a murder weapon when they discovered the bodies of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernoddle, and Ethan Chapin.

Cpl. Brett Payne of the Moscow Police Department wrote in his affidavit however that he did find "a tan leather knife sheath laying on the bed" next to one victim.

"The sheath was later processed and had 'Ka-Bar' 'USMC' and the United States Marine Corps eagle globe and anchor insignia stamped on the outside of it," Cpl. Payne stated in that affidavit.

For eBay, the first warrant requests information on any individual who purchased the designated sheath or knife after Jan.1, 2022, including:

  • Account information for the above-named individuals/entities on eBay or affiliated websites including but not limited to: contact information, billing information, account opening date, account closing date, and any other information retained in connection with the identified accounts 
  • Order details and purchase history for all transactions conducted by the above-named individuals/entities on eBay or any eBay affiliated storefront/webstore, including IP address information for purchases made
  • Payment information for payments made (or facilitated by) eBay to or from the above-named individuals/entities including payments through eBay or eBay supported platforms
  • All customer interaction records between eBay and the above-named individuals/entities and their representatives  to include call notes, call recordings, emails and/or written correspondence

EBay complied with that warrant, and investigators in turn filed a second application that same day seeking information about 13 specific eBay users.

Two of those users were listed as living in Washington, one in Idaho, and one in Pennsylvania.

Kohberger is a Pennsylvania native who had been attending Washington State University in Washington when cops allege that he murdered four college students living in Idaho.


The Amazon warrant requested the same information as the first eBay warrant, but the Walmart warrant sought slightly different information about individuals who made either of those same purchases after Jan. 1, 2022.

That warrant requested:

All Open and Closed accounts: all records pertaining to the individuals(s) or business entities identified in this letter whether held jointly or severally or as trustee or fiduciary as well as custodian, executor or guardian, as well as any other entity in which these individual(s) or entities may have financial interest; includes all accounts in which these individuals had signatory authority and/or the right of withdrawal; these records should include:

  • Signature cards.
  • Statement Data/Monthly Account Statements.
  • Identification of and name assigned on all Debit Cards on account.
  • Deposits and supporting documentation including but not limited to evidence of cash, cancelled deposited checks front and back, transfers from other accounts including full account number and name, and other credit information.
  • Checks and other withdrawals including but not limited to cancelled checks front and back, withdrawals and offsets, evidence of cash withdrawals, transfers from other accounts including account number and name, other debit information.
  • Wire transfers in and out including wire transfer instructions and evidence of requester if possible.
  • Evidence of cash transactions and identifying information of individuals conducting cash transactions.
  • Identification of sender or recipient bank, full account number, and account name on ACH transfers, online transfers, teller transfers, or other transfers.

The warrants to the two knife companies had some notable additions.

In the case of Blue Ridge Knives, the warrant specifically sought information on the sale of any of the KA-BAR KA1217S sheaths after Jan. 1, 2022 and then information on two orders for KA-BAR knives that the wholesaler fulfilled last year. The first, a 360-unit order on March 8 and the second an order for 480 units fulfilled on June 24.

The warrant requested Blue Ridge Knives provide a "description of items purchased, names and addresses to which the purchased items were sold to or mailed to, payment method/payment history, correspondence to and from purchaser, as well as any and all other records Blue Ridge Knives Inc retains
regarding these sales.'

The warrant issued to KA-BAR requested the same information as the one issued to Walmart. Both retailers were also asked to provide investigators with:

  • Electronic/Internet records: for those customers who engage in online banking with your financial institution, the following information pertaining to that online banking account: usernames or other identifying information for the account email addresses associated with the account to include any and all of the above information for any secondary or additional e-mail addresses and or user names identified by you as belonging to the targeted account in this letter; historical access logs for authentication to the account including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for this account and date, time and duration of each session
  • Credit Card records (e.g. MasterCard and Visa): including customer’s application, signature card, credit or background investigations conducted, correspondence, monthly billing statements, individual charge invoices, repayment records, disclosing the date, amounts and method of repayment, checks used to make repayments (front and back).
  • Correspondence: all records of correspondence/communication between the customer and the financial institution relating to the above services or for any other purpose, including customer service inquiries or requests for assistance.
  • Other records: all applications, forms, and other written documents completed by the customer; records of certified checks, wire transfers, or collections, letter credit, bonds and securities purchased through your financial institution, savings bond transaction and investment accounts. Such records that disclose the date and amount of the transaction, method (cash or check) and source of payment, instruments and statements of transactions; all correspondence with the above individual(s)/entities and/or with third parties regarding the above individual(s)/entities; all memoranda, notes, files, or records relating to meetings or conversations concerning the above individual(s)/entities.

In addition to the 1217 model and sheath, investigators also asked KA-BAR for information on individuals who purchased five other models of the company's knives as well as any shipments the company made to Blue Ridge Knives.

Court documents show that all six applications were submitted to the court, approved by the judge, distributed to the retailers, and returned to investigators before Kohberger had been arrested by authorities.

What remains unknown is the information investigators obtained as a result of these warrants.

There are over 50 additional applications that have been unsealed, and most fall into one of two categories.

The first involves financial information from banks and credit card companies about Kohberger.

The second involves the online activity of Kohberger as well as his four alleged victims, and ranges from email and social media accounts to dating sites and message boards.

Prosecutors filed paperwork at the time the judge approved these applications seeking a 90-day protection period.

Once approved by the court, all applications were placed under seal.

Prosecutors then attempted to extend this period, a request the court denied for the approximately 60 filings that have been unsealed over the past week.

Case records show that the judge did agree to keep at least nine of the filings under seal after hearing from prosecutors.

The search warrant released by authorities in Pennsylvania earlier this month does note that a knife was taken after a search of Kohberger's childhood home, but the make and model were not specified in the evidence list.

Kohberger is currently being held at the Latah County Detention Center after being denied bail following a January court appearance.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June and expected to last a week.

At the conclusion of that hearing, the judge will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial and Kohberger will enter his plea to four counts of first-degree murder and a single count of burglary.

The public defender assigned to represent the former PhD candidate after his arrest in Pennsylvania said that Kohberger had informed him that he expected to be exonerated of all charges at trial.


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