Idaho College Murders: Bryan Kohberger’s parents release statement after WSU student is charged with brutal stabbing

MOSCOW, Idaho — The family of the man arrested in connection with the quadruple stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students released a statement through their attorney on Sunday.

“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel and we pray for them every day a family we love and will support our son and brother. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement to seek the truth and further his presumption of innocence, rather than judging unknown facts and making false assumptions. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and families who suffer losses can pursue legal recourse.”

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Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested in his home state of Pennsylvania and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary in connection with the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students in November, according to Latah County Attorney Bill Thompson.

Still, investigators have not publicly confirmed the suspect’s motive or whether he knew the victims. The murder weapon was not found either, Moscow police chief James Fry said on Friday.

In the nearly seven weeks since the students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus home, investigators have conducted more than 300 interviews and combed through approximately 20,000 leads in their search for the suspect. News of the killings — and the long span without a suspect or significant development — has shaken the University of Idaho community and the surrounding city of Moscow, which has not seen a murder in seven years.

According to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation, investigators have confirmed Kohberger as a suspect through DNA evidence and by confirming his possession of a white Hyundai Elantra that was seen near the crime scene.

Kohberger, who authorities say lived minutes from the scene of the crime, is a graduate student in Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the school confirmed.

According to a law enforcement source, he was driving across country in a white Hyundai Elantra and arrived at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania around Christmas. At some point during his journey east from Idaho, authorities began stalking him.

RELATED: A timeline of the murders of 4 University of Idaho students

Bryan Kohberger

Monroe County Correctional Facility

“Sometime right before Christmas, our focus was that he was in Pennsylvania or going to Pennsylvania,” the source told CNN.

An FBI surveillance team tracked him for four days before his arrest while law enforcement worked with prosecutors to find enough probable grounds to get a warrant, the two law enforcement sources said.

Genetic genealogy techniques were used to link Kohberger to unidentified DNA evidence, another source with knowledge of the case told CNN. The DNA was run through a public database to find potential family members, and subsequent investigative work by law enforcement led to him as a suspect, the source said.

The suspect was “a little shocked,” says the defense attorney

Kohberger was charged in Pennsylvania on Friday morning and is being held without bail, records show.


Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed off campus at the University of Idaho.

Obtained from CNN

Kohberger intends to forgo his extradition hearing to expedite his transportation to Idaho, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.

“Mr. Kohberger is keen to be cleared of these allegations and looks forward to resolving these matters as soon as possible,” LaBar said.

LaBar later told CNN Kohberger arrived in Pennsylvania around December 17 to celebrate the holiday with his family.

“His dad actually went out (to Idaho) and they drove home together,” LaBar said.

He said Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra was found at his parents’ home, where authorities arrested him early Friday. LaBar said his client’s father, Michael, opened the door to police. Father and son are both cooperative, he said.

LaBar said he recommended his client get a psychological test before a court case.

Kohberger is alone in a cell, LaBar said, and is “guarded around the clock by the guards there to ensure his safety.”

LaBar said the extradition hearing was a “formality process.” He said all the Commonwealth needed to prove was that his client resembled or was the person on the warrant and that he was in the area at the time of the crime.

LaBar said he spoke with Kohberger for about an hour Friday night and discussed his whereabouts at the time of the killings. “Knowing, of course, that it’s likely they have location data from his cellphone that already puts him at the Washington-Idaho border,” LaBar told CNN, “obviously it was an easy decision since he doesn’t deny that he did.” Bryan Kohberger is .”

Kohberger was “a little bit shocked,” LaBar said.

LaBar added, “We don’t really know much about the case. I have no affidavit or probable cause. I didn’t want to discuss the case with him because I’m just his representative on this procedural issue of whether or not he wants extradition to Idaho.”

The investigations are ongoing

Even when a suspect is charged, law enforcement’s work is far from over, prosecutors said.

“This is not the end of this investigation. In fact, this is a fresh start,” Thompson said Friday night.

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Thompson urged people to continue submitting tips and asked anyone with information about the suspect to “speak up, call the tip hotline and report anything you know about him to help investigators.”

Since the murders of the four students – Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, some community members are frustrated that investigators are yet to offer a thorough account of how the night unfolded. Authorities have released limited details, including the activities of the victims that led to the attacks and people they have ruled out as suspects.

Fry told reporters Friday that state laws limit what information agencies can release before Kohberger first appears in an Idaho court. The probable cause affidavit — which outlines the factual basis of Kohberger’s allegations — will be sealed until the suspect is physically located in Latah County, Idaho, and the Idaho warrant has been served on him, Thompson said.

What we know about the suspect

Kohberger lives in Pullman, Wash., a town only about nine miles from the scene of the killings, authorities said. His home and office on Washington State University’s Pullman campus were searched by police Friday morning, the university confirmed in a statement.

In June 2022, he completed his graduate studies at DeSales University, where he was also a student, according to a statement on the school’s website. He also received an associate degree from Northampton Community College in 2018, the college confirmed to CNN.

LaBar called Kohberger “very intelligent.”

The attorney said he spoke to Kohberger’s family for 15 to 20 minutes Friday night.

CLOCK | Idaho authorities update public following arrest of college murder suspect

“They are also very shocked,” he said. “Out of character for Bryan … The FBI, local police and Idaho State Troopers were at her home around 3 a.m. yesterday, knocked on the door and announced they were going in, out of genuine shock and awe of them.”

In a Reddit post that was removed after Kohberger’s arrest was announced, a student investigator named Bryan Kohberger, who was connected to a DeSales University study, sought to participate in a research project “to understand how emotions and… psychological characteristics influence decision-making when committing a crime”.

“Specifically, this study seeks to understand the story behind your recent crime, with a focus on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience,” the post reads.

CNN reached out to one of the study’s principal investigators, a professor at DeSales University, but declined to comment on the matter. The university has not responded to requests for comment.

The CNN wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery company. All rights reserved.

ABC7 Chicago contributed to this post. Idaho College Murders: Bryan Kohberger’s parents release statement after WSU student is charged with brutal stabbing

Laura Coffey

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