Bryan Kohberger: Everything we know about the Idaho murders suspect

A criminology graduate has been arrested for the slayings of four University of Idaho students, according to arrest records.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested by FBI agents and officers of the Pennsylvania State Police near the Pocono Mountains early Friday morning, northeastern Pennsylvania, according to documents obtained by The Independent.

The Washington State University student is being held for extradition on a first degree murder complaint issued by the Moscow Police Department and Latah County Prosecutor’s Office.

The arrest is first significant breakthrough in the murders of Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves,both 21, and 20-year-olds Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, in an off-campus student home in Moscow, Idaho, on 13 November.

During a press conference on Friday (30 December), Moscow police appeared to rule out a second suspect.

“We have an individual in custody who committed these horrible crimes and I do believe our community is safe, but we still need to be vigilant,” Moscow police chief James Fry said.

The brutal nature of the murders, and apparent lack of progress from police, had left the city of 25,000 living in fear.

Who is the suspect?

The suspect’s name is Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 25, according to arrest paperwork filed by Pennsylvania State Police in Monroe County Court.

Mr Kohberger was arrested by a SWAT team at 3am in the Pocono Mountains, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, according to the arrest records.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, has been arrested in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students (Monroe County Correctional Facility)
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, has been arrested in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students (Monroe County Correctional Facility)

He is facing extradition to Idaho over the charges.

Law enforcement removed a white Hyundai Elantra from the property where Mr Kohberger was arrested, according to NBC News.

After being taken into custody, the suspect “asked if anyone else was arrested,”NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin said in a Twitter post.

He reportedly had a “quiet, blank stare”.

According to the Washington State University website, Mr Kohberger is a PhD graduate student in the criminal justice and criminology department in Pullman, Washington.

Pullman is around nine miles (15kms) west of Moscow, Idaho, where the students lived.

Washington State University criminology student Bryan Kohberger has been arrested in the murders of four University of Idaho students, according to court filings. (Washington State University)
Washington State University criminology student Bryan Kohberger has been arrested in the murders of four University of Idaho students, according to court filings. (Washington State University)

Mr Kohberger graduated from Pennsylvania’s DeSales University with a master of arts in criminal justice in May 2022.

According to online school records, Mr Kohberger received an associate arts degree in 2018 from Northampton Community College in Albrightsville and received a masters degree in criminal justice this year from DeSales University.

He was working part-time as a security guard until August 2021 at Pleasant Valley School District, where his mother was listed as a paraprofessional.

His sister, Amanda, also graduated from Pleasant Valley High School, according to her Facebook page.

She now works as a behaviour technician and therapist in Bethlehem while his other sister, Melissa, is a therapist in New Jersey.

Koberger’s ominous research study

Six months ago, Mr Kohberger conducted a study asking criminals how they selected their targets - and how they felt as they committed the crimes.

“Hello, my name is Bryan and I am inviting you to participate in a research project that seeks to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime,” he wrote in May in a since-deleted Reddit post. “In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience.”

The survey was anonymous, and according to the Daily Mail, questions included - “Did you prepare for the crime before leaving your home?”, “Why did you choose that victim or target over others?”, and “What was the first move you made to accomplish your goal?”.

He also asked: “After committing the crime, what were you thinking and feeling?”

While Mr Kohberger was studying criminology, where such questions might seem part and parcel of any programme, many may see them in a different light following his arrest in connection with the murders of Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin.

Suspect’s former friends react to arrest

In the aftermath of the breakthrough arrest nearly seven weeks after the brutal stabbings, former friends and acquaintances of Mr Kohberger have come forward with details about his personality and his troubled past allegedly marked by heroin addiction and weight struggles.

“It was bad,” Mr Kohberger’s former high school classmate Sara Healey told Fox News Digital on Friday. “There was definitely something off about him, like we couldn’t tell exactly what it was. I remember one time when I was walking in the hallway, and he stopped me and was like, ‘Do you want to hang out?’”

She added: “But Bryan was bullied a lot, and I never got a chance to say something to defend him, because he would always run away.”

Despite his struggles, Mr Kohberger was very intelligent and always had good grades, Ms Healey said. She added that Mr Kohberger was often rejected and bullied by females, leading her to believe it was that internal frustration which ultimately led to his alleged involvement in the Moscow attack.

Another high school friend of Mr Kohberger said that the accused murderer became a “bully” during his senior year as a way to deal with his own insecurities.

“He always wanted to fight somebody, he was bullying people. We started cutting him off from our friend group because he was 100 percent a different person,” Nick Mcloughlin told The Daily Beast.

Mr Mcloughlin said Mr Kohberger also had a dramatic weight loss that year.

Thomas Arntz, another high school classmate, echoed Mr Mcloughlin’s depiction of Mr Kohberger as a bully.

“He did that to me all the time,” Mr Arntz told the publication. “He would go after my intelligence. He would basically insinuate that I’m kind of slow-witted and that I’m forgetful and [that] I lack the intelligence to be his friend.”

A classmate of Mr Kohberger’s at Pennsylvania’s Northampton Community College, who asked to remain anonymous, told Fox News Digital she last spoke to him about two years ago to discuss what they envisioned for their academic future.

She claimed Mr Kohberger was sure he would be pursuing his PhD and that she would spend hours talking with him about his heroin addiction.

“He’s really, really intelligent. A bright kid .. someone who stood out even in honors and high-level classes,” she told the network. “I want to talk to him now and ask him what happened? What went wrong? What was going through your head? What were you feeling? What was going on? You know, why did this occur?”

Mr Kohberger graduated from Pennsylvania’s DeSales University with a master of arts in criminal justice in May 2022.

A classmate of Mr Kohberger’s at DeSales recounted to The DailyBeast an incident in which he had a disagreement with the arrested suspect.

“He was very levelled and somewhat imposing. There wasn’t much emotion displayed by him,” they said. “He took care with how he spoke.”

In a statement issued to the media, the college said: “On Friday, December 30, DeSales University learned of the arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students. Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate studies in June 2022. As a Catholic, Salesian community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families during this difficult time.”

Kohberger allegedly made ‘creepy’ comments to female staff at brewery

Mr Kohberger resided near the Pullman campus but had returned to Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with his family.

Thirty-four-year-old Jordan Serulnec, who owns Seven Sirens Brewing Company in Bethlehem, PA, told NBC News in a report published this weekend that Mr Kohberger was known for making inappropriate comments to female customers and staff.

The business has a system that allows staff to add notes to customers’ profiles when their IDs are scanned. After he read what his employees had written about Mr Kohberger, Mr Serulnec decided to confront the now-accused murderer.

“Staff put in there, ‘Hey, this guy makes creepy comments, keep an eye on him. He’ll have two or three beers and then just get a little too comfortable,’” Mr Serulnec told NBC.

He added: “I went up to him and I said, ‘Hey Bryan, welcome back. We appreciate you coming back. … I just wanted to talk to you real quick and make sure that you’re going to be respectful this time and we’re not going to have any issues.’ And he was completely taken aback. He was shocked that I was saying that, and he said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. You totally have me confused.’”

Bryan Kohberger, 28, is a suspect in the Moscow, Idaho, quadruple murder probe

Mr Serulnec went on to say that Mr Kohberger would become upset if women at the business rejected his romantic advances. In one specific instance, he called a staff member a “disparaging term” when she didn’t answer his questions.

Those incidents happened months ago, and Mr Kohberger did not return to the business after he was confronted, Mr Serulnec told NBC.

Suspect’s family ‘shaken’ by Uvalde school shooting

Mr Kohberger’s mother, MaryAnn, wrote a letter earlier this year to the Pocono Record, lamenting the violence in Uvalde and elsewhere.

“As I sat this morning, reeling from yet another school shooting, I found myself wrestling with which actions need to be taken to stop all the madness. What is the answer? Gun control measures? Mental health intervention?” she wrote in a letter published on 2 June.

“Then I received a message from my daughter who works as a mental health therapist in New Jersey,” she continued.

“She shared a poem she had written, while in the greatest depths of despair.

“It shook me to my core, and I felt the need to share it:

May 24th, 2022 Uvalde, Texas, written by Melissa Kohberger

Bereft of their laughter

There is now not a sound

As we lower our children into the ground

Small hands and feet

Buried six feet deep into the earth of the world that failed them.

“As I read the poem, I thought, whatever the solution, I pray we consider the children before the gun,” Ms Kohberger wrote.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on Sunday (Instagram)
Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on Sunday (Instagram)

While working security at Pleasant Valley, Bryan Kohberger was hailed by the same newspaper for his actions in helping a colleague suffering a medical emergency.

The Independent has contacted DeSales University and the Pleasant Valley school district for comment.

Messages left with the Kohberger family were not immediately returned.

Police raid suspect’s home

Hours after law enforcement arrested Mr Kohberger in Pennsylvania, officers executed a search warrant on an apartment in Pullman the Washington-Idaho border where the suspect had been living, according to Fox News.

Investigators in several unnarked vehicles arrived at the address at 7.30am, neighbours told Fox News.

The scene was cordoned off with police tape as officers entered the property. Prosecutor Bill Thompson, from Latah County, Idaho, was among the investigators who searched the property.

Police in Moscow are not yet commenting on the arrest or the raids.

A case that gripped a nation and puzzled police

The murders baffled law enforcement, with investigators unable to identify a suspect or locate a murder weapon for a month and a half.

The first significant breakthrough came when police sought the public’s help in locating a white sedan spotted near the scene of the salyings.

The Moscow Police Department has said it received more than 13,000 phone tips related to the case, in addition to thousands of submissions through its website.