An FBI surveillance team was tracking the man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students while the suspect and his father were driving cross-country to Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, and reportedly asked Indiana police to pull him over.
The team requested video images of the suspect, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy, as well as his hands, a law enforcement official told Fox News. The source said that investigators were still building their case against the suspect when he was pulled over in Indiana on December 15 as he and his father drove from Washington to Pennsylvania.
Bodycam footage released Wednesday showed a Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy pulling the suspect over while driving a white Hyundai Elantra — the same make, model, and color of a car that Moscow police have been searching for over the past few weeks. It is unclear whether this deputy was asked to provide images of the suspect to the FBI.
The sheriff’s office reportedly pulled over the vehicle for following too closely behind another vehicle. The suspect and his father mentioned they had been pulled over by another officer for the same reason and had received a ticket warning, so the officer in the bodycam footage did not take further action. The officer did, however, explain how much space should be between vehicles at certain speeds.
The officer and the suspect’s father chatted about the long drive – from Washington to Pennsylvania – before the officer returned to his vehicle.
Video of the incident can be found here.
The sheriff’s office said they had no information about a suspect wanted for the Idaho murders at the time the traffic stops occurred. The white Hyundai has since been seized by police in Pennsylvania, where the suspect was apprehended on December 29.
The suspect, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, worked as a teacher’s assistant and was reportedly a tough grader. That changed in the weeks after the murders, one former student told CNN on Monday.
“Definitely around then, he started grading everybody just 100s. Pretty much if you turned something in, you were getting high marks. He stopped leaving notes. He seemed preoccupied,” the student said. “The couple times that he did come after, or around that time period, he had a little more facial hair, stubble, less well-kept. He was a little quieter.”
The suspect previously studied psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. While at DeSales, the suspect reportedly worked as a student investigator for a survey exploring motives behind crimes. One question in the survey reportedly asked, “Why did you choose that victim or target over others?” Another asked, “After committing the crime, what were you thinking and feeling?”