A few weeks before four University of Idaho students were killed in November, the man suspected of killing them tried to contact one victim on Instagram, according to a new report.
Bryan Kohberger, a graduate student at Washington State University’s Pullman campus about nine miles from Moscow, Idaho, is suspected of the stabbing murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.
To date, no firm link between the suspect and the victims has been publicly established.
However, a Tuesday report in People cited what it called “an investigator familiar with the case” as saying the suspect sent one victim multiple Instagram messages in late October.
The report said an account investigators believe belongs to Kohberger sent a message to one of the female victims, who was not named.
No reply was received, the report quoted the source as saying, leading the account to send several more messages.
“He slid into one of the girls’ DMs several times, but she didn’t respond. Basically, it was just him saying, ‘Hey, how are you?’ But he did it again and again,” the unnamed source said.
People reported that Kohberger’s Instagram account followed the accounts of Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle, the New York Post reported.
The source said because of how Instagram is configured, the recipient may have not known the messages existed.
“She may not have seen them, because they went into message requests. We’re still trying to determine how aware the victims were of his existence,” the source said.
“There’s no indication that he was getting frustrated with her lack of response, but he was definitely persistent.”
Speculation on the motive for the crime has run rampant, with former FBI agent and security expert Pete Yachmetz saying, “The murders may have been … an effort to assert some type of dominance,” according to the Post.
“I believe a continued stabbing of a victim indicates … an uncontrollable rage and extreme anger.”
Yachmetz said Kohberger “may have developed a sort of incel complex,” using a term for men who do not succeed at developing romantic or sexual relationships. Incel is short for “involuntarily celibate.”
“I feel like an organic sack of meat with no self-worth,” a 2011 post said. “As I hug my family, I look into their faces, I see nothing, it is like I am looking at a video game, but less.”
“Nothing I do is enjoyable. I am blank, I have no opinion, I have no emotion, I have nothing. Can you relate?” he wrote in another post.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.