Idaho Murder Suspect Bryan Kohberger Sent Messages to Female Victim on Instagram Weeks Before Killings and Sent More DMs When She Didn't Reply

Detectives believe the suspect was stalking the victims at the same time as the messages from Kohberger's account were sent.

Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger allegedly sent allegedly messaged one of the female victims and sent more direct messages after she ignored him, weeks before the four students were slaughtered in their beds, according to reports. Kohberger also slid into the girl's direct messages on Instagram, the new report claims.

A source close to the case told PEOPLE that one of the female college students found dead received numerous Instagram messages from Kohberger's account, but she never responded to his advances. It comes as experts believe that Kohberger may have been driven by an "incel complex" to kill the four students and left behind a "calling card" to claim the murders.

Stalking Before Killing

Bryan Kohberger
Bryan Kohberger Twitter

The source said that Kohberger, 28, repeatedly sent the female victim messages for weeks. "He slid into one of the girls' DMs several times but she didn't respond," the source told the outlet. "Basically, it was just him saying, 'Hey, how are you?' But he did it again and again."

According to reports, the messages were sent in October.

Students from the University of Idaho Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were found dead with stab wounds on November 13.

Dylan Mortensen
Dylan Mortensen, 21, (extreme left) and Bethany Funke, 21 (extreme right), the two survivors, with the four slain Idaho students Twitter

The identity of the girls Kohberger messaged was withheld by the source. However, the source said that Kohberger followed the social media profiles of all three female victims.

Detectives believe the suspect was stalking the victims at the same time as the messages from Kohberger's account were sent. In the weeks prior to the murders, his mobile data was pinging in the same area as the four students.

The source also declined to comment on whether the person Kohberger allegedly messaged purposefully ignored him or if the message accidentally ended up in her "requested" folder from people she wasn't friends with. These messages are more difficult to see because they don't have alerts.

Kaylee GonCalves and Madison Mogen
Kaylee GonCalves and Madison Mogen were found dead under mysterious circumstances Twitter

Although Kaylee Goncalves, an Idaho victim, allegedly complained of a stalker in the days before the deaths, it's unclear whether there is any connection between this and her murder.

"She may not have seen them, because they went into message requests," the source said, implying that the victim didn't follow Kohberger back on Instagram. "We're still trying to determine how aware the victims were of his existence."

Kohberger, who was pursuing a doctorate in criminology at Washington State University, 10 miles from the University of Idaho, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in connection with the horrific quadruple homicide.

Motive Still Unclear

It is not known if not responding to the messages by the girls led to the murders, the source said. "There's no indication that he was getting frustrated with her lack of response," the source said. "But he was definitely persistent."

Chapin and Xana Kernodle
Chapin and Xana Kernodle Twitter

Kohberger has maintained his innocence in the stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.

According to a local law enforcement official familiar with the case, Kohberger is now facing a growing body of evidence. PEOPLE had access to the aforementioned Instagram account before it was deleted.

Mogen, Goncalves, and Kernodle allegedly were followed by Kohberger. Otherwise, according to the source, he did not connect with their accounts in public.

Kohberger allegedly posted messages from the now-deleted Instagram in an attempt to attract the victim's attention. His relentless pursuit of his alleged victim might be a sign of the "incel complex" that a former FBI agent thinks he has.

Kaylee Goncalves
Kaylee Goncalves Twitter

"The murders may have been ... an effort to assert some type of dominance," security expert Pete Yachmetz told The New York Post this week.

"I believe a continued stabbing of a victim indicates ... an uncontrollable rage and extreme anger ... I think he may have developed a sort of incel complex."

When someone tries to message an Instagram account that they haven't followed back, it goes to a special category called "message requests." These requests are located somewhere other than where regular messages are.

According to the investigator, they are still attempting to ascertain whether the victims were aware of his existence. It's conceivable that Kohberger was angered by the silence, but that's just one of several theories advanced by individuals who have been following the case.

However, according to the investigator who spoke with PEOPLE, there is "no indication" of that.

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