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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

‘There Are No Words’: Family Of Suspect In Idaho Murders Breaks Silence After Arrest

"We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions,” the family of suspect Bryan Kohberger said in a statement.

By Jill Sederstrom
Suspect In University Of Idaho Students' Killings Arrested

The family of a man accused of brutally killing four University of Idaho college students is speaking out after his arrest last week.

Bryan Kohberger — a 28-year-old doctoral student attending the nearby Washington State University — was taken into custody Friday morning at his parents’ Pennsylvania home seven weeks after the college students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho.

Investigators have not revealed a possible motive in the attack or commented on whether they believe the suspect crossed paths with any of the victims before the killings. The probable cause affidavit in the case has also been sealed until Kohberger is extradited to Idaho and can make an initial appearance in the state, police said.

However, Kohberger’s family is speaking out, expressing sympathy for the victims’ families and urging the public not to jump to conclusions about Kohberger’s alleged involvement in the shocking murders.

RELATED: Idaho Murder Suspect Talked To Law Enforcement Briefly After Arrest Before Invoking His Rights, His Attorney Says

“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” Kohberger’s father Michael Kohberger, mother Marianne Kohberger and sister Amanda said in a statement released to People through Kohberger’s Pennsylvania attorney. “There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them.”

The family also voiced their continued support for Kohberger.

Bryan Kohberger

“We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother,” they wrote. “We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions.”

Kohberger is being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in connection to the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20; all of whom were found dead inside an off-campus house on Nov. 13.

According to Moscow Police, all four victims had suffered “multiple” stab wounds and were likely stabbed to death in their sleep after someone had broken into the home.

Two other roommates, who lived on the ground floor of the three-story home, were not targeted in the attack and survived.

For weeks, the shocking killings haunted the small college community as investigators searched for the suspected killer. Then, on Friday, police announced they had made an arrest after taking Kohberger, a doctoral student with an interest in criminal justice, into custody.

While authorities have remained tight-lipped about what linked Kohberger to the crime, two law enforcement sources told CNN that he became a suspect after his DNA was matched to genetic material found at the crime scene.

Kohberger’s attorney Jason LaBar also confirmed to the news outlet that a white Hyundai Elantra had been found at Kohberger’s parents’ home in Pennsylvania, where he had gone home for the holidays.

Moscow Police announced last month that they were looking for a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra in connection with the murders, after an eyewitness reported spotting the vehicle near the crime scene around the time of the killings.

A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students

Kohberger has long had a documented interest in crime. He received an undergraduate degree from DeSales University in 2020 and completed his “graduate studies for the Master of Arts in criminal justice program” earlier this year, a spokesperson from the university told CNN.

While at the university, Fox News reports that Kohberger took classes from forensic psychology expert Dr. Katherine Ramsland, who has spoken to Oxygen.com in the past about her work with serial killer Dennis Rader, known as BTK.

In a statement to Oxygen.com, Ramsland, an assistant provost at DeSales University, declined to comment on the case; however, Rader’s daughter Kerri Rawson wrote about the eerie connection on Twitter over the weekend.

Dr. Katherine Ramsland was one of Bryan Kohberger’s professors in Criminology Studies at DeSales University, where he earned a masters degree last spring,” she wrote. “Ramsland has, or did have a close academic relationship and friendship with my father, Dennis Rader, BTK.”

It isn’t known whether Kohberger had ever reached out her father during his studies.

I have ongoing concerns, knowing how common it is for criminology students, true crime fans, and others to correspond regularly with my father, that Kohberger could have been in contact with my father at some point, but require proof of this, which currently I do not know of,” Rawson said.

At the time of his arrest, Kohberger had been working on his PhD in criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University.

LaBar said in a Tuesday appearance on the “TODAY” show that Kohberger believes he will be exonerated of the charges against him.

“He said this is not him,” LaBar said. “He believes he is going to be exonerated. That’s what he believes, those were his words.”

He’s expected to appear in court Tuesday for an extradition hearing in Pennsylvania. LaBar has said Kohberger does not plan to fight the extradition.

Kohberger is currently awaiting extradition to Idaho and is being held without bond.