The Pennsylvania man charged with the murder of four University of Idaho students was a graduate student at nearby Washington State University, studying in the department of criminal justice and criminology.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was placed in custody on an arrest warrant from Moscow, Idaho, charged with first-degree murder, court records show. According to court records, he was held at the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
Kohberger was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police in Chestnuthill Township seven weeks after four college students were stabbed to death in their beds – an event that stunned residents of tiny Moscow, confounded police and sparked a nationwide manhunt.
A Pennsylvania judge in Monroe County, north of Allentown, on Friday ordered Kohberger’s extradition to Idaho next month, court records show.
The November 13 attack killed Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
The motive has not been revealed.
“We’re still putting the pieces together,” Moscow police chief James Fry told a news conference after the arrest was announced.
Monroe County’s chief attorney Jason A. LaBar said in an interview Saturday that his client “wants to be acquitted.”
He said LaBar is representing Kohberger in an extradition request from Idaho that is not contested. LaBar, who is not part of Kohberger’s murder defense, said he spoke with his client for about an hour Friday after his arrest.
“He was very aware but calm and really shocked by his arrest,” LaBar said, adding of the man’s parents, “They’re shocked too. They said it didn’t suit Brian. They were just very surprised.”
LaBar said Kohberger “believes he would have been in Pullman at the time” of the killings, referring to the city of Washington, where he studies, about 9 miles from Moscow.
Moscow police and the Latah District Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawyer’s testimony.
County Attorney Bill Thompson said at a press conference on Friday that the narrative supporting the murder charges is contained in court documents sealed under state law but will likely be made available when the defendant arrives in Idaho.
“We are limited in what the courts allow us to say outside of the courtroom,” he said.
Kohberger, who had recently lived in an apartment in Pullman, seemed to have a keen interest in crime. He was listed as a Ph.D. student in the department of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, which is 10 miles west and just across the state line from the University of Idaho.
Shortly after Kohberger’s arrest was announced, WSU removed the alumni page with his name on it.
Kohberger WSU criminal justice graduate student Ben Roberts said that Kohberger was confident and open-minded, but also seemed “always looking for a way to fit in.”
“It’s totally out of place,” Roberts told The Associated Press. “Honestly, I just found it very awkward.”
Kohberger graduated from nearby DeSales University in 2020 with a degree in psychology and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales this spring, DeSales University said in a statement Friday.
“Kohberger received his bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his postgraduate studies in June 2022,” the statement reads. “As a Salesian Catholic community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims at this difficult time.”
Seven months ago, a person named Bryan Kohberger took part in a research project that required him to come into direct contact with arrested individuals. At the time, this individual identified himself as a “student investigator” at DeSales University and was using a school email address.
“My name is Bryan, and I invite you to participate in a research project that aims to understand how emotions and psychological characteristics influence decision-making when committing a crime,” Kohberger wrote in a post that appeared seven months ago on the Reddit community for former prisoners. “Specifically, this study aims to understand the story behind your most recent crime, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout the experience.”
Bryan Kohberger previously worked as a security guard at the nearby Pleasant Valley School District, where he was credited in 2018 for helping save the life of a hall monitor who was having an asthma attack, The Pocono Record reports.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com