The father of one of the Idaho murder victims said his arrest brought them the “first bit of joy” in more than seven weeks since the quadruple murders.
Steve Goncalves’ daughter Kaylee, 21, was one of four students allegedly killed in their sleep by Bryan Kohberger on November 13.
She was killed along with her best friend Maddie Mogen, 21, and roommate Xana Kernodle, 20, and boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20.
Kaylee’s family expressed their “relief” after Kohberger, 28, was arrested on the same day as a life memorial celebration for her and Maddie was held.
Steve Goncalves (pictured with daughter Kaylee) said the news that Bryan Kohberger had been arrested gave them the “greatest joy” since the killings
Kaylee’s family expressed their “relief” after 28-year-old Koghberg was arrested on the same day that a life commemoration ceremony was held for her and Maddie
Bryan Kohberger is accused of killing Kaylee, Maddie Mogen, 21, her roommate Xana Kernodle, 20, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20
Her dad Steve told CBS, “This is the first bit of joy we’ve had in almost seven weeks.
“We hope… they chose the right one, and that gives us hope. And we haven’t had any hope for a long time.’
He previously revealed that there were “possible connections” between the criminal justice graduate student and his daughter.
After the arrest was made public, the Goncalves family began trying to find answers as to why Kaylee and her friends were being targeted.
Steve claims he’s started seeing a link but isn’t ready to share it publicly at the moment – adding that he’s waiting to see Kohberger in court.
Family attorney Shanon Gray told ABC News: “Now that there’s a person and a name that someone can specifically search for and see if there are any connections. So you’re just trying to figure it out.
Steve claims he’s started to see a connection between his daughter and Kohberger, but isn’t ready to share it publicly right now
Police had previously refused to rule out that the killings were targeted, but it remains unknown what ties Kohberger may have had to the victims, who lived just eight miles from the suspect’s campus
The suspect attended college in nearby Washington state, where he majored in criminology
Steve said no one in the family knew or recognized Kohberger when they were first told about him by police.
Police had previously refused to rule out that the killings were targeted, but it remains unknown what ties Kohberger may have had to the victims, who lived just eight miles from the suspect’s campus.
The grieving father described Kohberger as a “broken soul, pathetic human being” and that he was “the little coward who finally got caught walking.”
He added: “This guy has to look me in the eye several times and I’m going to search for the truth. This is really what I will be looking for.”
Investigators have yet to pinpoint a motive for the murders of the four students, but those who knew Kohberger say he had a deep interest in criminal psychology.
Idaho Police said the four University of Idaho students were murdered in their sleep between 3 and 4 a.m. Pictured: victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin
The crime happened six weeks ago, 2,500 miles from where Kohberger was arrested. His father flew to meet his son in Washington and drove him back to their home in Pennsylvania
Kaylee, Maddie (pictured) and Xana Kernodle, 20, were stabbed to death in Moscow, Idaho on November 13 – and Xana’s new boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, was also killed in the massacre
Friends from high school claim that he struggled with heroin addiction in his younger years but apparently got over it.
Kohberger earned a psychology degree from Community College in 2018 before studying psychology and criminal justice at DeSales University.
Federal and state investigators are now combing through his background, financial records, and electronic communications as they work to identify a motive and build the case.
Investigators are also interviewing people who knew Kohberger, including from Washington State University.
Kohberger has been charged with four counts of murder and one federal burglary – with Moscow Police Chief James Fry saying he broke into the dormitory with “murder intent”.
According to Kaylee’s dad Steve, his daughter suffered “greater” injuries than her friend Maddie – who slept in the same room on the third floor
Authorities raided his office on the University of Washington’s Pullman campus, according to
Police seized a white Hyundai Elantra, the same model Moscow police were looking for after it was discovered near the crime scene outside Kohberger’s home.
He had been home for the festive season after his father flew 2,000 miles from Pennsylvania to Idaho to ride with his son.
It’s unclear if Kohberger’s father, who filed for bankruptcy in 2010, or the rest of his family knew about the murders.
Police officials confirmed his DNA was found at the crime scene, although he has no criminal record, which would put his DNA on file.
Investigators were able to match genetic evidence to a suspect’s family member using genealogy databases, CNN reported, citing a source.
Kohberger was taken into custody in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, a small town in the heart of the Poconos Mountains more than 2,000 miles from where the gruesome killings took place
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the house in Moscow, Idaho. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom, while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor
Kohberger may face the death penalty in the state where his family can’t afford a lawyer to fight.
More than six weeks after the murders, investigators are still trying to find the murder weapon, which they believe was a large knife.
Kohberger’s family responded to the charges on Sunday and urged people not to pass judgment.
Moscow police chief James Fry did not want to rule out that the killer had an accomplice.
Details of the killings and the motives behind them have yet to be released, with law enforcement saying a sealed affidavit of arrest will be released once Kohberger is extradited to Idaho.
Friday’s arrest marks the first major break in the case — Kohberger asks if “someone else was arrested” when he was arrested. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Kohberger is currently being held in the Monroe County Jail in Pennsylvania pending a Jan. 3 hearing.