As police investigated the November stabbing killings of four University of Idaho students, they sought to recreate the guy accused of killing them on a daily basis.
Bryan Kohberger was arrested and charged with four counts of murder in December.
Kohberger, on the other hand, did not attend the University of Idaho; he was a graduate student at Washington State University, just eight miles beyond the state border.
However, three other students tell PEOPLE that they believe they saw Kohberger in the weeks leading up to the killings inside the Student Union building on the Idaho campus — and that they subsequently identified him after he was arrested for the murders.
“It was early in the semester,” Chelsea, a student at the University of Idaho, recalls. “He was sipping water at the Student Union’s food court. He was sitting by himself.”
“He was the sort to gaze,” she says. “If you caught him gazing, he wouldn’t look away.
He seemed to want you to realize that he was staring at you. He didn’t even grin, nod, or say anything. I just stood there staring.”
“I advised my companion not to be suspicious, but to stare at him,” she continued. “It was so strange that we ended up leaving and dining outside to get away from him.”
Another student tells PEOPLE that she saw Kohberger around campus frequently enough that she believed he was a University of Idaho student.
“It’s not a big school; it’s more like a tiny village,” she explains. “As a result, you start seeing the same faces again and over.
They become recognizable, as though you’ve seen them in class or around campus. I absolutely saw him several times. He was just looking, very softly and intensely. He made me uneasy.”
Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death on November 13 at an off-campus rental residence in Moscow, Idaho.
A masked assailant broke into the house and fatally stabbed the four pupils with a fixed-blade knife.
Authorities nabbed Kohberger, a 28-year-old doctoral student and teaching assistant at Washington State University, more than a month later. He faces four counts of murder and one count of criminal burglary.
On December 30, Kohberger was detained at his parent’s house in Pennsylvania.
One of the victims’ surviving roommates said she spotted the killer, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
As the perpetrator fled the crime site, the roommate recalled “a figure wrapped in black attire and a mask” walking past her.
The affidavit also claimed that DNA and mobile phone pings tied Kohberger to the homicide site.
While officials have not confirmed these specific encounters, a law enforcement source told PEOPLE last month that Kohberger visited the University of Idaho campus.
The sightings have alarmed the school community, particularly student parents.
“Whether or not [Kohberger] was responsible for the deaths of those children, there’s something wrong if an adult man who isn’t a student can just stroll about campus,” says Mar Sampson, whose daughter was a student last semester.
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“Everyone should be extremely conscious of their surroundings and should feel free to speak out if someone makes them feel uncomfortable.”
A request for comment was not immediately returned by the University of Idaho.