Idaho murders: Bryan Kohberger applied for internship at Pullman Police Department in fall 2022
Brian Kohberger, the criminology Ph.D. student accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death in November, applied for an internship in the fall with the local police department in Pullman, Washington, according to a newly released probable cause affidavit.
Kohberger worked as a teaching assistant at Washington State University and lived in Pullman, a college town just miles from the crime scene in Moscow, Idaho.
He submitted his application to the police department at some point during the fall semester, when he took his first semester of classes at WSU after graduating from DeSales University with a master’s degree in psychology and cloud-based forensics in June 2022.
“Kohberger wrote in his essay he had interest in assisting rural law enforcement agencies with how to better collect and analyze technological data in public safety operations,” an arrest affidavit states.
A spokesperson for the Pullman Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment about the application.
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As part of his graduate studies at WSU, Kohberger also posted a survey on Reddit, asking prospective participants to provide information about “how emotions and psychological traits influence decision making when committing a crime,” according to the affidavit.
A former friend of Kohberger from Northampton, Pennsylvania, who asked to remain anonymous because of her job, said she does not believe Kohberger wanted to be a police officer, but that he was interested in studying crime.
“He was very interested in psychology and, you know, criminology and things like that. So he was very interested in kind of the way the mind works.
Kohberger’s interest in law enforcement dates to his younger years at Pleasant Valley High School in Pennsylvania, when he also aspired to enter the military. A yearbook from 2011 shows Kohberger in a law enforcement class doing push-ups with a badge dangling from his left pocket.
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Authorities allege Kohberger broke into an off-campus apartment near the University of Idaho in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 and murdered Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20 and Ethan Chapin, 20.
He allegedly left behind a tan leather knife sheath that had “Ka-Bar” and the United States Marine Corps eagle globe and anchor stamped on it, according to the affidavit. Investigators wrote that they found DNA belonging to Kohberger on the sheath.
Victim’s father says Bryan was hunting them
Steve Goncalves, whose daughter Kaylee was among those killed, he told CNN’s JIm Sciutto in an interview that aired Friday morning.
“Nobody understands exactly why but he was stalking them, he was hunting them,” Goncalves said. “He was a person looking for an opportunity and it just happened to be in that house. And that’s hard to take.
A hunter that went out and he picked his little opponent that was girls, that’s probably why the house was targeted.”
Goncalves was in the courtroom for Kohberger’s appearance.
“He knows I want him to look me in the eye. So he didn’t. He didn’t give me that opportunity,” Goncalves said. “He’s scared to look at me in the eyes and start to understand what’s about to happen to him. You know, he picked the wrong family.”
These is how investigators narrowed the search evidence to Bryan:
- DNA: Trash recovered from Kohberger’s family home revealed that the “DNA profile obtained from the trash” matched a tan leather knife sheath found “laying on the bed” of one of the victims, according to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday. The DNA recovered from the trash “identified a male as not being excluded as the biological father” of the suspect whose DNA was found on the sheath. “At least 99.9998% of the male population would be expected to be excluded from the possibility of being the suspect’s biological father,” the affidavit said.
- Phone records: Authorities found the suspect’s phone was near the victims’ Moscow, Idaho, home at least a dozen times between June 2022 to the present day, according to the affidavit. The records also reveal Kohberger’s phone was near the crime scene hours after the murders that morning between 9:12 a.m. and 9:21 a.m, the document says. The killings were not reported to authorities until just before noon.
- A white sedan: A Hyundai Elantra was seen near the victims’ home around the time of their killings. Officers at Washington State University identified a white Elantra and later learned it was registered to Kohberger. The same car was also found at the suspect’s Pennsylvania family home when he was arrested last Friday. The suspect’s university is about a 10-minute drive from the Idaho crime scene.