An investigator familiar with the case tells new media (People.com) that two weeks before the slayings of four University of Idaho students on November 13, the guy Bryan Kohberger now suspected of killing them sent a series of messages to one of the victims on Instagram.
According to the source, in late October, account officials suspect belonged to Bryan Kohberger sent a welcome to one of the female victims.
He sent numerous more texts to her after not receiving a response.
“He slid into one of the girls’ direct messages multiple times, but she didn’t answer,” a source tells PEOPLE.com. “Essentially, he was simply saying, ‘Hey, how are you?’ But he did it again and over again.”
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. He willingly consented to return to Idaho to face the allegations against him, thus he waived extradition. On January 4, he was returned to Idaho.
One of the victims’ surviving roommates said she spotted the killer, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.com.
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.
Authorities have not revealed the claimed reason for the incident. They have not publicly disclosed Kohberger’s ties with the victims. Kohberger’s now-deleted Instagram account — which PEOPLE.com saw before it was deleted — followed Mogen, Gonclaves, and Kernodle, but there was no public contact.
It’s unknown why Kohberger didn’t receive a response to his messages, but officials believe the victim may have overlooked them entirely.
“She might not have noticed them since they went under message requests,” says the source of the probe. (Instagram users are not alerted when they get a message from someone they haven’t followed back, and the messages are sent to a separate folder.) “We’re still trying to figure out how much the victims knew about him.”
“There’s no evidence that he was annoyed by her lack of reaction,” the insider continues, “but he was obviously persistent.”
Kohberger has not yet pleaded guilty. His next hearing isn’t scheduled until June 26.
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