Students: Idaho murders suspect continued to serve as teacher's assistant after alleged crime

Former classmates of the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students told FOX 13 that he returned to the classroom after he allegedly committed the crime and continued working as a teacher's assistant as if nothing happened.  

On Dec. 30, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was arrested at his parent's home in Pennsylvania in connection to the brutal murders. The following day, his attorney said that he would be waiving an extradition hearing so he can be quickly brought to Idaho to face murder charges. 

Bill Thompson, a prosecutor in Latah County, Idaho, said during a press conference Friday that investigators believe Kohberger broke into the University of Idaho students’ home near campus "with the intent to commit murder." The bodies of the students — Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin — were found on Nov. 13, several hours after investigators believe they died.

The arrest in the disturbing case brought a sense of relief to the small northern Idaho college town after weeks passed with little information released by police. But it has also raised questions about whether the suspect knew the victims and what he has been doing in the weeks since the killings.

FOX 13 learned that Kohberger was a teacher's assistant at Washington State University for a level-300 criminal law course. According to multiple students, he returned to his role as TA after the murders and acted the same and did not display any behavior to set off alarm bells. 

Kohberger is a Ph.D. student at Washington State University's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in Pullman, Washington, police said. Pullman is about a 15-minute drive from the rental home where the four students were stabbed to death.

Ben Roberts, a graduate student in the criminology and criminal justice department at WSU, described Kohberger as confident and outgoing, but said it seemed like "he was always looking for a way to fit in."

"It’s pretty out of left field," he said of the news Friday. "I had honestly just pegged him as being super awkward."

Roberts started the program in August — along with Kohberger, he said — and had several courses with him. He described Kohberger as wanting to appear academic.

Others echoed Roberts and used words like "professional," "nice," "mature," and "awkward."

Former Pennsylvania classmates said Kohberger was an intellectual who "was very interested in the way the mind works" but was bullied for being overweight and socially awkward.

In his home state of Pennsylvania, he was known as a genius who was socially awkward and had a tough time picking up on social cues, a couple of his former classmates told Fox News Digital.

Sarah Healey, who went to Pleasant Valley High School in Pennsylvania with Kohberger, said he was shy and kept to himself and a small group of friends, but some of their classmates – especially girls – mocked Kohberger and threw things at him.

"It was bad," Healey said. "There was definitely something off about him, like we couldn't tell exactly what it was. It was just weird. But Bryan was bullied a lot, and I never got a chance to say something to defend him, because he would always run away."

At his time pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in criminal justice at DeSales University, former classmates recall him conducting a survey that targeted criminals. Classmates told FOX 13 that the survey included questions asking how the crimes were committed, with prompts like "why did you choose that victim," "before making your move, how did you approach the victim" and "how did you leave the scene?"

"He was there for, I want to say two weeks. I saw him walking around the library and I thought that was weird," said DeSales junior Meagan Byrne. "It was like, ‘how many people do you need to survey?'"

Byrne said she and her roommates were shocked by the killings in Idaho, and were even more shocked to learn they had interactions with the alleged suspect. 

FOX Digital contributed to this report.


Idaho murders: Suspect charged with first-degree murder in killings of 4 college students

Authorities in Pennsylvania have arrested a suspect in the killings of four slain Idaho students, who were found stabbed to death in their beds more than a month ago, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Friday.