Bryan Kohberger ordered vegan pizza at least twice from a restaurant where two of the victims of the University of Idaho murders worked as servers, and was very particular about his food, according to a new report.
In the weeks before the fatal stabbings occurred on November 13, the man suspected by authorities of committing the murders ate at the Mad Greek restaurant in Moscow, Idaho. It is unclear whether he interacted with Madison Mogen and Xana Kernodle, two of the victims who worked there.
Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student in criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary in connection with the killings of Mogen, Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves, and Ethan Chapin. He has maintained that he is innocent.
The four victims were found dead in an off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho that the three women shared. Chapin had been sleeping over with Kernodle, his girlfriend.
A former employee of the restaurant told People magazine that Kohberger came in to grab vegan pizza, but that there was nothing suspicious about the visits. They said he stood out because of his particularity when it came to making sure the food had not been in contact with animal products.
Citing sources familiar with the investigation, it noted that investigating authorities are aware of the restaurant visits. Police have reportedly interviewed the Mad Greek’s owner and employees, as well as taking surveillance footage.
“That doesn’t mean he was doing anything weird at this restaurant—he just stood out,” Steve Helling, senior crime reporter at People, told NewsNation. “Anybody who’s waited tables—I did it in college—I still remember people who stood out because they had strange things, and that’s what happened here.”
Kohberger is said to be a strict vegan. In an interview with the New York Post, a former family member, speaking anonymously, revealed that his aunt and uncle had to buy new pots and pans as he would “not eat from anything that had ever had meat cooked in them.”
Kohberger may have been drawn to the Mad Greek as it is one of few places in the area that serves vegan food.
It is not clear whether Mogen or Kernodle had contact with Kohberger during his visits to the restaurant, and authorities have asked staff not to speak to the press while the case is active.
Noting that the restaurant was relatively small, Helling commented: “The chances are that there was some sort of at least incidental contact between them or at least he would have noticed them.”
Newsweek has contacted Kohberger’s public defender in Idaho for comment.
Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania on December 30 in connection with the stabbings. He then allowed himself to be extradited to Idaho, and has maintained his innocence via his public defender in Pennsylvania, who previously said Kohberger is “eager to be exonerated.” He has yet to enter a plea.
After his initial appearance in an Idaho court on January 5, Kohberger was next seen in the courtroom on January 12. He consented to waive his right to a speedy trial, and his preliminary hearing date was set for June 26.
On January 9, the Mad Greek wrote on Facebook that it would be open for half days on three days that week, “while we allow staff to take time with families, grieve and restaff.”