Bryan Kohberger allegedly having pictures on his phone of one of the four University of Idaho students he is accused of killing is “highly significant,” according to a former FBI agent.
Kohberger, 28, has been charged over the deaths of Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s 20-year-old boyfriend Ethan Chapin.
They were found stabbed to death inside a rental home near the university campus in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13. The women had lived there with two roommates who survived the attack.
Kohberger was a Ph.D. student of criminology at Washington State University in nearby Pullman when the murders took place.
He was arrested on December 30 at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania and is yet to enter a plea to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary.
A lawyer who previously represented him said he was “eager to be exonerated.” A preliminary hearing is set to begin on June 26.
Authorities found multiple photos of one of the female victims on a phone seized from Kohberger, People reported earlier this week, citing an unnamed source familiar with the investigation.
The magazine did not reveal who the alleged photos were of, or if they had been taken by Kohberger or downloaded from social media.
But Tracy Walder, a former FBI special agent and former CIA officer, told NewsNation that if true, it would show a “pattern of behavior.”
“We know that he was reprimanded at WSU for his treatment of some of the female students and female staff,” Walder said.
“And so if he had photos on his cellphone, it directly ties him back now to the occupants of that house… this is one step closer to tying him to that.”
Walder said Kohberger could have “easily” found their Instagram page and saved screenshots of pictures they posted.
“If he was taking sort of action shots of them, stalking them, following them, following to their work, school, all of that, that really sort of goes more towards this premeditation,” she said.
It comes after reports that Kohberger’s now-deleted Instagram account had followed Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle.
A source told People in January that he had repeatedly messaged one of the women, but never received a response.
He reportedly first sent a message in late October, and then several more. “Basically, it was just him saying, ‘Hey, how are you?’ But he did it again and again,” the source said.
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