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Idaho Murder Suspect Graduated from DeSales in 2020

DeSales University

The close-knit DeSales University community was stunned Friday to learn that the suspect in the Nov. 13 murders of four University of Idaho students–who was captured in the Poconos earlier in the day–is a recent graduate of the Center Valley school.

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DeSales University

DeSales University is a private Catholic university located on a 550-acre campus in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County. The school’s current enrollment includes approximately 2,300 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students, according to the university’s website. DeSales is well-known for its highly-regarded criminal justice course of study, which offers students the opportunity to earn both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years. (FILE PHOTO)

The close-knit DeSales University community was stunned Friday to learn that the suspect in the Nov. 13 murders of four University of Idaho students–a brutal crime that has been the subject of intense national media coverage–is a recent graduate of the Center Valley school who was captured by police earlier in the day in the Poconos.

School officials issued the following statement regarding the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, who recently earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees–reportedly in criminal justice–from DeSales:

“On Friday, Dec. 30, DeSales University learned of the arrest of Bryan Kohberger in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students. Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed his graduate studies in June 2022. As a Catholic, Salesian community, we are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families during this difficult time.”

According to media reports, 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger was arrested Friday after state, local and federal law enforcement officials descended on his parents’ home in Indian Mountain Lakes; a large gated community in the Albrightsville section of Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, about an hour north of the Lehigh Valley.

According to a Pennsylvania State Police news release, state troopers assisted police from Moscow, Idaho and the FBI in apprehending Kohberger on a fugitive from justice warrant in the early morning hours of Dec. 30.

Kohberger is being held without bail in the Monroe County Correctional Facility pending extradition proceedings that according to court records are scheduled to be held Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas in Stroudsburg.

Upon extradition to Idaho, Kohberger is expected to be charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, who were all stabbed to death in a rented house near the university in Moscow, Idaho.

Kohberger has extensive academic connections to the Lehigh Valley area that don’t end with DeSales, it was also learned Friday.

Prior to enrolling at DeSales, in 2018 he earned an associate’s degree in psychology and liberal arts from Northampton Community College, school officials confirmed for WFMZ Channel 69 News.

According to school records that list his hometown as Albrightsville, Kohberger was named to NCC’s Dean’s List for the spring 2018 semester.

WFMZ also reported that Kohberger attended Pleasant Valley High School in Monroe County.

At the time of the murders in Idaho, Kohberger was reportedly enrolled in a Ph.D program in nearby Washington state.

Some people from Pennsylvania who knew Kohberger are describing in media interviews their shock upon learning of the crimes he is accused of committing.

A former friend from the Poconos who was interviewed by a national cable news network said he used to run with Kohberger at night because he didn’t want to run by himself.

“I’m still kind of, like, shaking, knowing about that,” Schyler Jacobson told NewsNation Friday. “It’s just unreal to think someone could do that to somebody. It’s absolutely mind-boggling. My adrenaline’s still kind of running after finding information out.”

Note: All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This story was compiled using information from published media and other reports as well as law enforcement sources.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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