Friends Say a Then-300lb Bryan Kohberger Was Treated for an Eating Disorder After Losing Half His Body Weight

Bryan Kohberger
Monroe County Detention Center

Bryan Kohberger also needed to have a tummy tuck to deal with excess skin after his weight loss, according to two friends.

Former friends and neighbors of Bryan Kohberger share details about his life in Pennsylvania before he allegedly murdered four University of Idaho students in interviews with The Idaho Statesman.

There are multiple accounts of Kohberger’s alleged heroin addiction, as well as the revelation that he lost two friends to overdoses in the years before the murders.

Kohberger’s drastic weight loss is also a topic that many of those interviewed speak about, with former friend Thomas Arntz saying that at his peak the suspected murdered weighed over 300 pounds.

Jack Baylis, who was also friends with Kohberger at that time, said he had to be hospitalized at one point for an eating disorder after shedding half his body weight.

Both Baylis and Arntz also claim that Kohberger’s transformation required a “tummy tuck” because of all the excess skin.

His weight was not the only thing changing either, according to Arntz.

“It almost seemed to me he had a desire to be the alpha,” Arntz said. “For no reason, he’d try to grapple me and put me in headlocks when I didn’t want to. He tried to portray it as just boys being boys, but that’s not the way I ever took it.”

That behavior eventually resulted in Arntz ending his friendship with Kohberger. 

“He always wanted to be dominant physically and intellectually,” said Arntz. “He had to show that he was smarter and bigger than you, and try to put me down and make me feel insecure about myself. So much of that was a torment and I didn’t want to be around him anymore.”

Baylis said that Kohberger’s alleged drug use made their friendship strained over time.

“I think drugs goofed him pretty bad. He was having a time,” said Baylis. “He’d tell me, ‘I’m clean now, I’m totally clean now,’ and he’d have bleeding track marks.”

Baylis said that the person who introduced Kohberger to heroin died in March 2021, while Arntz said another person Kohberger allegedly used with died in May 2018.

Kohberger got clean in 2016, a former friend previously told Inside Edition Digital.

He went on to study criminology, which is how he ended up at Washington State University in the PhD program.

The WSU campus is just a few miles from the University of Idaho campus, and the home where police believe Kohberger murdered Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20. 

Kohberger faces one count of burglary and four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly massacring the four college students. He is currently being held without bail at the Latah County Detention Center ahead of a preliminary hearing in the case, which is scheduled for June.

His public defender in Pennsylvania released a statement, saying: “Mr. Kohberger has been accused of very serious crimes, but the American justice system cloaks him in a veil of innocence… He should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise—not tried in the court of public opinion.”


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