Accused murderer Bryan Kohberger sent multiple messages over Instagram to one of the female University of Idaho students shortly before she and three others were killed in November, according to an unnamed investigator.
An account that authorities believe is tied to Mr. Kohberger sent several messages to one of the victims over the span of two weeks, a law enforcement source told People magazine.
“He slid into one of the girls’ DMs several times, but she didn’t respond,” the source told People, adding that the activity began in late October. “Basically, it was just him saying, ‘Hey, how are you?’ But he did it again and again.”
The source didn’t name which of the three girls who were killed — 20-year-old Xana Kernodle and 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen — was the one Mr. Kohberger was trying to contact.
The law enforcement member told the magazine it’s unclear if the recipient even saw the messages. Instagram doesn’t notify users when they are messaged by accounts they don’t follow. The app also lets users view the messages from those accounts without recording the message as “read.”
“We’re still trying to determine how aware the victims were of his existence,” the source told People. “There’s no indication that he was getting frustrated with her lack of response, but he was definitely persistent.”
Former law enforcement officials not involved in the investigation have noticed suspicious activity online that they believe was tied to Mr. Kohberger as well.
Retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer believes the murder suspect was behind a Facebook profile called Pappa Rodger, who made eerily accurate speculations about the Idaho investigation before those details became public.
Most notably to Ms. Coffindaffer was when Pappa Rodger wrote that detectives found a knife sheath at the crime scene on Nov. 30. Police didn’t release that information until the affidavit was shared at Mr. Kohberger’s Jan. 5 court hearing in Idaho.
Mr. Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home on Dec. 30.
He was extradited to Idaho days later and charged with four counts of murder for the Nov. 13 killings of Kernodle, Goncalves, Mogen and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, all of whom were University of Idaho students. Mr. Kohberger also was charged with one felony count of burglary.
Mr. Kohberger’s preliminary hearing was delayed until June so his defense team has more time to review discovery. He has not yet entered a plea in the case.