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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

‘No One Knew This Guy At All’: Lawyer Says University Of Idaho Victims Didn’t Know Suspected Killer

Attorney Shanon Gray said he believes police uncovered “a lot of hard evidence,” against Bryan Kohberger, the 28-year-old accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November.

By Jill Sederstrom
Suspect In University Of Idaho Students' Killings Arrested

The University of Idaho murder victims reportedly did not know their suspected killer, according to an attorney representing one of the families.

“No one knew this guy at all,” attorney Shanon Gray told Insider of suspect Bryan Kohberger.

Kohberger, 28, was arrested late last month in connection with the Nov. 13 slayings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20. All four college students were found dead inside an off-campus Moscow rental home with multiple stab wounds.

Investigators have not announced a motive in the quadruple homicide, however, they revealed in an affidavit released last week and obtained by Oxygen.com that phone records suggest Kohberger, a Ph.D. student at nearby Washington State University, had been in the area of the 1122 King Road home on “at least twelve” occasions before the killings and could have been stalking the victims.

Authorities said that all of the occasions “except for one” took place late at night or in the early morning hours.

RELATED: Woman Who Discovered Her Own College Roommate Nearly Beaten To Death Comes To Defense Of University Of Idaho Surviving Roommate

“It appears from the affidavit that he was in the area of the house on several occasions,” said Gray, who represents the Goncalves family. “That’s all we know.”

Kaylee’s sister, Alivea Goncalves, also told NewsNation that the family had “no idea” that Kohberger may have been watching the home for months.

“We had no idea. She had no idea. I had no idea that true evil was genuinely watching,” she said.

Alivea added that it had been unsettling to uncover the chilling details revealed in the affidavit.

Bryan Kohberger's new Idaho Mugshot

“That’s been the hardest part of this is to sit back and look at the totality of it,” she said. “When my sister was Facetiming me about a new egg bites recipe, he was planning his next visit to the home. That’s really difficult not to wish that you had done more and wish that you had known more.

Alivea has been actively working to try to find leads in the case since her sister’s death two months ago, but has now turned her focus to trying to find any possible link between Kohberger and the slain roommates.

"I've had a lot of people reach out with Instagram posts or even Spotify or lots of connections that they've been able to find and those are super valuable,” she said. “All of those go over to the Moscow Police Department as well as the Idaho State Police and the FBI because nothing is insignificant at this point and everything is being looked through.”

One of two surviving roommates, Dylan Mortensen, allegedly encountered the killer inside the home on the morning of Nov. 13 after hearing noises from the third floor of the home and crying sounds coming from Kernodle’s second-floor bedroom sometime after 4 a.m.

Mortensen, who is referred to the in affidavit as “D.M.,” told investigators that after opening her bedroom door a third time and peering outside, she saw a man “clad in black clothing,” wearing a mask over his mouth and nose, according to the affidavit. She described the man as being at least 5-feet, 10-inches tall, with a slender build and “bushy eyebrows.”

Mortensen “did not state that she recognized the male,” police said.

The man walked by her as she stood in a “frozen shock phase,” then exited through a back sliding glass door.

Mortensen proceeded to lock herself in her bedroom.

Moscow Police have said a call to 911 wasn’t placed until 11:58 a.m. that morning when someone called to report an “unconscious victim.”

It’s not clear what led to the nearly eight-hour delay, but Gray told Insider the public needs to remember that Mortensen is “a victim in the case.”

“So I think everyone needs to treat her as a victim,” he said. “I don’t think anybody knows what they might do in that situation.”

He said the Goncalves family is “thankful” that she was able to provide a physical description of the killer to police.

Gray believes the affidavit released in the case provides “a lot of hard evidence,” but said his hope is the case will only “get stronger and stronger” as the investigation continues.

“The police have always said they want not only arrests, they want a conviction,” he said. “So, we’re hopeful that that’s where we’re headed.”

Kohberger is currently being held without bail at Latah County Jail on four charges of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. He’s expected to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary status hearing, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.