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A little-known graduate student was arrested Friday on a “fugitive from justice warrant” in connection with the fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students seven weeks ago in a house near campus.
Who is Bryan C. Kohberger? Here’s what we know.
He attended Washington State University
Born in November 1994, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, now 28, was taken into custody Friday at a home in Chestnuthill Township in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. A court record says he is from Albrightsville, a nearby hamlet in an adjoining county.
Kohberger is a Ph.D. student studying criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, the university confirmed Friday. Kohberger just completed his first semester as a Ph.D. student in the criminal justice department earlier in December, WSU said.
The school’s campus is in Pullman, Washington, less than 9 miles west of the house on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, where the students were stabbed to death on Nov. 13.
Police said at a news conference Friday that Kohberger lived in Pullman.
He helped teach undergraduates
In Washington State University’s fall course catalog, Kohberger also is listed as an assistant instructor for three undergraduate criminal justice courses led by professor John Snyder, the department’s criminal justice club adviser and global director. The three courses finished on Dec. 9, according to the online course catalog.
Reached on his cellphone Friday, Snyder declined to comment and directed an Idaho Statesman reporter to the university.
The university released a statement thanking law enforcement and expressing sympathies to people affected by the killings, but did not comment on Kohberger himself beyond confirming his enrollment. WSU did not say whether Kohberger was employed by the university and lived in university housing.
Emailed requests for information from the criminal justice department’s chair, its graduate program director and the graduate student association adviser, as well as Kohberger’s three fellow Ph.D. students listed as assistant instructors for the undergraduate courses, were not immediately answered.
No clear connection to victims
Police have not identified any previous connection between Kohberger and the victims, seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.
Stacy Chapin, mother of Ethan, told the Statesman in a message that her family does not know of any connection between her son and the suspect.
A former U of I sorority member who used to live in the King Road neighborhood, and who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, said Kohberger was not known to several friends of the victims.
“Never seen him or heard of him before. No one I know knows him,” she said Friday in a Facebook message to the Statesman.
Goncalves was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, while Mogen and Kernodle were members of Pi Beta Phi.
He was from Pennsylvania
Albrightsville is a hamlet in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania. Kohberger was jailed just to the east in Monroe County, near the New Jersey state line and about 75 miles west of New York City.
A man named Bryan Kohberger began working part-time as a “casual security officer” for the Pleasant Valley School District in Monroe County in November 2018, according to school board documents. The Pocono Record reported in 2018 that Kohberger assisted a high school student having a medical emergency by grabbing an AED. Kohberger was replaced by a full-time security office in August 2021, according to the documents.
He recently graduated from a Pennsylvania college
Kohberger graduated from Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania with an associate of arts degree in psychology in 2018, college spokesperson Mia Rossi-Marino told The Associated Press. He then attended DeSales University in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the AP said he received a bachelor’s degree in 2020. Allentown is about 40 miles south of Albrightsville.
Kohberger stayed at DeSales ajd earned a master of arts degree in criminal justice in May 2022, according to Carolyn Steigleman, associate vice president of marketing and communications.
“On Friday, December 30, DeSales University learned of the arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students,” Steigleman said in an email to the Statesman. “… 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.”
DeSales was founded by followers of the teachings of St. Francis de Sales, a Catholic saint who “believed that love of God leads naturally to love for all persons,” the university’s website says.
He had no criminal history
A review of court records in Washington, Idaho and Pennsylvania showed no criminal history for Kohberger aside from an August 2022 infraction for failing to wear a seat belt in Latah County, which includes Moscow.
Now Kohberger awaits extradition from the Monroe County Correctional Facility. He faces four first-degree murder charges and a felony burglary charge, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson told reporters at a Friday news conference.
Kohberger was scheduled to appear in court in Monroe County at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for an extradition hearing, according to a court document. If he opposes voluntary extradition, Idaho Gov. Brad Little would have to request it from Pennsylvania, a process that might delay Kohberger’s transfer to Idaho.