<modsnip - quoted post was rude response to another member>
1. Can't explain the DNA. IMO, this is the strongest piece of evidence. I have read and can agree that it is possible to leave trace DNA without touching something.
2. Is there evidence his phone put him at the house months before? What I've read is that his phone put him in the area, which can mean a host of things. We also don't know that he never attended any of their parties in the past. I think we've all put together a narrative in which he doesn't know these kids and everyone's a stranger, but there's no evidence of that that we know of. He might have crashed one or two of their parties, maybe even posing as a Door Dash driver as was brought up earlier during discussion of the DD warrants.
3. Don't have explanation for the dark period.
4. The gloves he wore at grocery stores, like most of America during the pandemic? I could explain it as a hold-out from the pandemic. I still will occasionally see someone wearing gloves out and about.
5. Flight to PA? It wasn't a flight to PA (in either sense of the word). A graduate student going home for the holidays is easily explainable. In fact, had he NOT gone home for the holidays, to me, that would be more suspicious and I'm sure it would get people wondering if his family wants him home or if he stayed to check in on his crime, etc. This is the least suspicious thing in this case, IMO.
6. He cleaned his car after a long road trip that soiled it. I would do the same thing after a cross-country road trip in the winter. You get salt, mud, and road debris all over your car. Again, one of the least suspicious things, IMO.
7. As others pointed out, we don't know the background of this. Is this something he did regularly? We don't know what police found in the neighbor's trash, do we? Had he thrown away bloody clothes in the neighbor's trash or something incriminating, I might agree. But I don't believe that was the case. So maybe this was something they did for whatever reason. Maybe his parents trash was full and the neighbors wasn't. Without more information, I don't think this conclusively points to guilt in a murder 6 weeks earlier.
All above speculation and in MOO, but I do think all the explanations are plausible.