Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was an awkward “creep” who repelled girls in high school, and reportedly discussed his struggles with heroin addiction with a college classmate.
And those who knew the accused killer described him as an “outcast” whose transformation by his senior year of high school was so drastic — they thought he was a “new student.”
“I remember seeing him and thinking it was a new student. He was so heavy and he lost so much weight, he almost looked sickly or like it was an obsession. Around the same time, he became more aggressive and I think he became more of an outcast at that point. He became more withdrawn,” Dominique Clark, who attended elementary and high school with Kohberger, told The Post.
Kohberger, 28, was arrested in Albrightsville, Pa., Friday and charged in the Nov. 13 murders of four University of Idaho students who were stabbed to death as they slept — Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.
Kohberger, who grew up in the Poconos, underwent the startling transformation before senior year at Pleasant Valley High School in Brodheadsville, losing maybe 80 pounds, Clark said. A fourth-grade yearbook photo of Kohberger shows a smiling, husky boy with spiky hair.
After his weight loss, he reportedly went from victim to aggressor, classmates said.
By the time he was in college, Kohberger struggled with drugs, telling a classmate at Northampton Community College that he battled a heroin addiction.
The classmate, who did not want to be named, told Fox News Digital the two would talk “for hours” about his weight and drug battle.
Meanwhile, Clark described Kohberger as very bright, but odd — especially around girls.
“If he liked or was interested in a girl and she wasn’t, he didn’t understand why or just didn’t accept her saying no and move on and so he would have been labeled as a creep or something along those lines,” said Clark, now a critical care nurse who lives in Breinigsville, Pa.
“He hung out with the people who were outcasts together. He tried to hang out with people who were smart,” she continued. “He just didn’t really fit in with anybody.”
Another classmate, Sarah Healey, told Fox that Kohberger was bullied by high school girls, who would even throw things at him.
“It was bad,” Healey said. “There was definitely something off about him, like we couldn’t tell exactly what it was.
Healey said that treatment might have been a motivating factor for Kohberger.
Here’s the latest coverage on the brutal killings of four college friends:
“I honestly think that’s what led up to this, because he didn’t get the proper help, and it was mainly females that bullied him,” Healey said.
Kohberger is being held in Monroe County, Pa., where his next court date is Jan. 3 in the Court of Common Pleas.
No motive for the savage crime has been revealed and any connection between Kohberger, a graduate student in the criminal justice department at nearby Washington State University in Pullman, and the Idaho students remains unclear.
In other developments:
- Steve Gonslaves, the father Kaylee, told ABC News he found an unspecified link between the alleged killer and his daughter.
- The police chief in Moscow, Idaho, where the university is located, said that Kohberger was believed to have acted alone. Police are still looking for the murder weapon, believed to be a long-blade knife.
- Authorities used genetic genealogy technique to link Kohberger to unidentified DNA evidence, CNN reported.
- Investigators are combing through Kohberger’s background, financial records and electronic communications to identify a motive, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
- Kohberger got a bachelor’s degree at DeSales University where he studied under forensic psychology Katherine Ramsland, an expert in serial killers, the Lehigh Valley News reported.
- Kohberger planned to waive his right to an extradition hearing, which would expedite his move to Idaho, his lawyer, Jason LaBar, the chief public defender in Monroe County, said Saturday.
“He was around the area at the time of the offense, I’m assuming they have his cell phone tracking data. That’s a pretty good assumption in today’s world,” LaBar said. “On the 12th or 13th [November], they certainly have him in or around Pullman or Moscow.”
LaBar said that he spoke with Kohberger Friday in an hour-long conversation, in which he appeared “calm and shocked about everything.”
“He’s a very intelligent man, I think everyone’s aware of that,” he said, adding that Kohberger “is aware of the situation and apparently he’s spoken to police also. I believe Idaho state troopers as well as Pennsylvania state police.”
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