The family of the 28-year-old graduate student arrested in connection with four Moscow homicides released a statement through the suspect’s public defender on Sunday, pledging love and support to the suspect and offering prayers from the victims’ families.
Bryan Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania early Friday morning on an Idaho warrant accusing him of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.
All four victims were students at the University of Idaho, while Kohberger was a Ph.D. candidate studying criminology at Washington State University, a short drive from Moscow.
Jason LaBar, the Monroe County public defender representing Kohberger in Pennsylvania as he awaits extradition to Idaho, shared the Kohberger family statement with the Idaho Statesman on Sunday.
“First and foremost we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” the statement said. “There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother.”
The family — Kohberger’s parents and two sisters, LaBar said — asked for privacy and said they have fully cooperated with law enforcement investigations.
LaBar told the Statesman on Saturday that Kohberger is “eager to be exonerated” and plans to waive his extradition rights during a court hearing in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Kohberger’s arrest came more than a month after the quadruple homicide rocked the Moscow community. Moscow Police Department officials gave few details on the case in a news conference Friday, but police Chief James Fry told ABC News Saturday that law enforcement believes Kohberger to be the sole perpetrator.
“We believe we have our guy, the one that committed these murders,” he said.
Fry also told ABC News that a white Hyundai Elantra — a vehicle Moscow police had been searching for in connection with the crime — belongs to Kohberger and was seized at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania where he was arrested.
LaBar told CNN that Kohberger’s father went out to Washington in December and the two men drove to Pennsylvania together, arriving around Dec. 17. Kohberger’s parents’ home is in Chestnuthill Township, a municipality about 30 miles from Allentown.
LehighValleyNews.com, a local news outlet, reported that Kohberger earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from nearby DeSales University, a private school just south of Allentown. Kohberger reportedly earned his master’s in criminal justice in June, the outlet reported, and was a student of Katherine Ramsland, a forensic psychology professor who has written several books on serial killers.
LehighValleyNews.com said Ramsland confirmed that Kohberger was a student but denied further comment. Ramsland did not respond to requests for comment from the Idaho Statesman on Saturday.