The father of the University of Idaho murder suspect flew from Pennsylvania to Washington to accompany his son on a cross country road trip weeks after the quadruple homicide.
Bryan Kohberger’s public defender revealed that the 28-year-old PhD student at Washington State University in Pullman didn’t make the 2,000-mile journey back to his family home alone.
Kohberger was spotted with his father in the white Hyundai Elantra police were on the hunt for, including at a car maintenance shop in Pennsylvania on December 16.
‘He was home for the holidays,’ Public Defender Jason LaBar told CNN.
The suspected killer was arrested on Friday after a more than a month man-hunt for the murderer behind the brutal deaths of Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, drove from Washington to Pennsylvania with his father weeks after he allegedly murdered the four University of Idaho students, his defense attorney revealed
Kohberger’s father had bragged to the witness about flying out to Washington to make the cross country drive with his son in the white Hyundai Elantra. Police were previously on the hunt for the exact model they said was spotted near the Idaho murder house
Kohberger is accused of breaking into the home of the four students’ off-campus Moscow residence and stabbing them to death in their beds on November 13.
He is currently behind bars in Pennsylvania and is currently waiting to be extradited to Idaho in hopes of being ‘exonerated of these charges,’ LaBar told Idaho Statesman.
LaBar is preparing for Kohberger to arrive back to Idaho and already requested he receive a public defender immediately.
Kohberger may possibly face the death penalty in the state – which his family can’t afford to hire an attorney to fight.
‘He does not have the funding to get a private attorney,’ LaBar said.
Surveillance footage on the night of the slayings showed a white Hyundai Elantra nearby the home around the time the murders occurred at around 3am. Police believe it belonged to Kohberger.
The Ph.D. student had driven in the car back to Pennsylvania where police recovered it at his parents’ home.
An unidentified person at the car shop confirmed Kohberger was getting maintenance done on his car with his father after the trip.
According to the source, Koherberger’s father was bragging about flying out to the west coast to join his son on his trip home for the holidays, and recalled the 28-year-old as being reserved.
It is unclear if Koherberger’s father knew about the murders.
Police later recovered the car at Kohberger’s parent’s house where he was arrested.
Idaho police said the four University of Idaho students were murdered in their sleep between 3am and 4am. Pictured: Victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin
The crime took place six weeks ago, 2,500 miles from where Kohberger was arrested. His father flew to meet his son in Washington and drove with him back to their Pennsylvania home
Police were on the hunt for Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra, which officials began tracking around Christmas time as the suspect drove across the country
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
Kohberger’s family addressed the charges on Sunday and asked for people to refrain from judgment.
‘We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family, we will love and support our son and brother,’ the family wrote in a statement obtained by TMZ.
‘First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children.
‘There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them,’ the statement read in part.
‘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’s family asked for privacy during this time as they cooperate with law enforcement to get to the bottom of the case.
‘We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.’
The suspect was attending college in nearby Washington State, where he pursued criminology
Forensic teams and police work at the apartment of Kohberger nearby Washington State University in Pullman, Washington
Police said they began tracking and surveilling Kohberger around Christmas and stayed on him for four days when they spotted the white Hyundai Elantra they believed was connected to the murders.
Friday’s arrest is the first major break in the case – with Kohberger asking if ‘anyone else was arrested’ when he was taken into custody. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that his DNA was discovered at the scene of the crime – with officers managing to track down who owned the car seen in the area of the slayings.
However, Kohberger has no prior arrests, according to public records, so it is unclear how officials got hold of his DNA.
Kohberger was allegedly stalking the students in the weeks leading up to the murders. Pictured is the home where the murders took place, just over eight miles from where he worked as a PhD student and teaching assistant
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home. 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 was allegedly stalking the students in the weeks leading up to the murders.
Moscow Chief of Police James Fry refused to rule out that the killer had an accomplice.
Details of the killings, and the motive for them, are yet to be released with law enforcement saying a sealed arrest affidavit will be released once Kohberger is extradited back to Idaho.