The family of Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, the suspect arrested in the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students, said they are cooperating with law enforcement to «promote his presumption of innocence» in their first public statement. aired on sunday.
The statement was released by Kohberger’s attorney, Jason A. LaBar, the chief public defender for Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on behalf of Kohberger’s parents, Michael and Marianne Kohberger, and her sisters, Amanda and Melissa.
The Kohbergers pledged to «let the legal process play out and as a family we will love and support our son and brother.»
“We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote their presumption of innocence instead of judging unknown facts and making wrong assumptions,” the statement continued.
The statement also expressed condolences to the families of the four students: Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Ariz.; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, who were killed on November 13.
«First of all, we deeply care for the four families who have lost their precious children. No words can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray for them every day,» it said.
The Kohbergers concluded by saying that they «respect privacy in this matter as our family and families suffering loss can move forward in the legal process.»
LaBar said in an interview Saturday that his client is «eager to be exonerated.»
LaBar, who is representing the suspect in the extradition case but not the murder case, said Kohberger was «very conscious, but calm, and really shocked by his arrest» when the two spoke for about an hour Friday.
Police arrested Kohberger in Albrightsville, in northeastern Pennsylvania, about 2,500 miles from the Idaho campus, authorities said Friday.
Authorities said he will be charged with four counts of first-degree murder and robbery, charged with breaking into a Moscow, Idaho, home with the intent to commit a felony.
Several crucial pieces of information, such as a possible motive, Kohberger’s possible relationship to any of the victims or any evidence that led police to track him down, have not been released.
Two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation have said DNA evidence played a key role in linking the killings to Kohberger.
A Hyundai Elantra was stolen from Kohberger’s Pennsylvania home on Friday, police sources said. Moscow police had been looking for a white Hyundai Elantra as possible evidence.
An affidavit of probable cause, with details supporting Kohberger’s arrest, is under seal until he sets foot in Idaho and receives the documents in court, authorities said. LaBar said Saturday that Kohberger intends to forego his extradition hearing in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to face charges in Idaho shortly thereafter.
The Kohberger family is expected to be present at the extradition hearing, LaBar said.
Investigators have said they still need the public’s help to «fully understand everything there is to know not only about the individual, but also what happened and why,» according to Latah County Attorney Bill Thompson.
Three of the victims, Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle, were roommates at the home where they died, while Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, stayed the night, investigators said.
Two other roommates who were home at the time were asleep during the stabbings, and one of their cellphones was used to call 911 when they woke up later that morning, detectives said.
The murders generated nationwide headlines and some 19,000 leads from the public that police said were crucial to the investigation.
The families of the victims say they are hopeful that Kohberger’s arrest will bring justice.
Kernodle’s mother, Cara Northington, said Friday the arrest of a suspect in the case lifted «a huge weight» off her shoulders, adding that she doesn’t know Kohberger.
“A lot of the pain was not knowing who it was, knowing that whoever was responsible for it is still out there,” he said. «So yeah, this definitely takes away a lot of the pain that we were experiencing.»
Kohberger, who was a doctoral student in the department of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, 9 miles from Moscow, was known for making «creepy» and inappropriate comments to female employees and customers at a Pennsylvania brewery, he said. the business owner told NBC News. on Saturday.
Minyvonne Burke, Deon J. hampton, jonathan dienst, tom winter, david k li, deanna during, shan shan dong, Brandy Zadrozni, kate martin Y corky siemaszko contributed.