“There is going to be someone there looking him in the face and letting him know this is not going away anytime soon,” said Steve Goncalves, father of one of the victims, Kaylee Goncalves. “This is just the beginning.”
Kaylee Goncalves was one of four University of Idaho students killed in an off-campus stabbing in November. Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin also were killed.
Police on Friday arrested Kohberger in Pennsylvania in connection with the students’ deaths.
Now Steve Goncalves and his family’s attorney are looking for connections between Kohberger and the victims.
“I’m biased, but if you got to know my daughter I would think it would be impossible to hurt her,” Steve Goncalves said. “So I think we thought this was somebody who didn’t have a chance to meet her or talk to her or get to know her. She was very likable and didn’t have a mean bone in her body. I think there is a little comfort in knowing this person is not someone she trusted or loved.”
Kohberger’s public defender told NewsNation that in Mid-December, Kohberger’s father drove back with his son from Pullman, Washington, to Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in the white Hyundai Elantra police believe they had been looking for.
His attorney said Kohberger is eager to be exonerated.
Kohberger’s family didn’t answer when NewsNation senior national correspondent Brian Entin went to their house, where Kohberger was arrested. The family did, however, release a statement through the public defender, saying they are cooperating with law enforcement.
“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” the statement read. “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.”
Before moving to Washington State University to get his Ph.D., Kohberger received his master’s from DeSales University in Pennsylvania.
He was studying in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the time of his arrest.
Students who studied with Kohberger told NewsNation they’ve been told to talk only to police, since they could potentially be called as character witnesses in the case.
“I feel like (Kohberger) was into this kind of thing,” Steve Goncalves said. “He made a lifetime commitment to crime. Solving crime. Figuring out how people got caught, interviewing people. Doing different things that a normal student wouldn’t’ be so interested in. I think maybe he got a little overconfident, and there isn’t a perfect way to commit a crime.”