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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Pa. family of Idaho murder suspect releases statement supporting him, offering sympathy to victims’ families

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Monroe County family of Idaho slayings suspect Bryan Kohberger released a statement through his attorney Sunday saying they support him and are cooperating with law enforcement “in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence.”

The statement from Kohberger’s parents, Michael and Marianne, and sister, Amanda, opens with an expression of sympathy for the families of the four University of Idaho students he is suspected of stabbing to death Nov. 13 in their off-campus house.

“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,” 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. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.”

Kohberger, 28, a Poconos native who attended Northampton Community College and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales University, was arrested at his parents’ Chestnuthill Township home Friday.

He was charged in Idaho with four counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20.

The four were stabbed to death in their house in Moscow — a short drive across the state line from Washington State University, where Kohberger is a doctoral student in the department of criminal justice and criminology.

On Saturday, Kohberger’s attorney, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, said his client plans to waive his Tuesday extradition hearing and return to Idaho to face the charges.

A probable cause affidavit outlining the reasons authorities charged Kohberger will remain sealed until he is arraigned in Idaho.

Kohberger, who attended Pleasant Valley School District, has been described as an oddball and loner.

NBC News interviewed Jordan Serulneck, owner of Seven Sirens Brewery in Bethlehem, who said Kohberger used to come in to drink by himself and was flagged in the bar’s system as a patron who made servers uncomfortable.

“Serulneck said Kohberger would ask the female staff or customers who they were at the brewery with, where they lived,” NBC reported. “He said if the women blew him off, “he would get upset with them a little bit,” noting that one time he called one of his staff members a b---- when she refused to answer his questions.”

Lawrence Rosenberg told The Morning Call that he knew Kohberger, and attended Monroe County Technical Institute with him for a few years before Kohberger left in 2014.

Rosenberg said Kohberger knows a lot of people in the Poconos area and would get together with friends at Indian Mountain Lakes, the gated community of more than 3,000 homes where his parents live.

Nick Mcloughlin, 26, who said he was friends with Kohberger in high school and vocational school, told The Daily Beast he was surprised by the news of Kohberger’s arrest. He said Kohberger had been a “down to earth” member of his friend group who later turned “aggressive” and picked up boxing as a hobby.

“He always wanted to fight somebody, he was bullying people. We started cutting him off from our friend group because he was 100 percent a different person,” Mcloughlin said.


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