Idaho murder victim’s father shares stark warning to alleged killer: ‘He’s gonna realize’

Steve Goncalves says his family is ‘gonna make sure he doesn’t get away with it’

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 14 May 2023 09:38 BST
Bryan Kohberger being pulled over by Washington police one month before college murders

The father of Kaylee Goncalves, one of the four University of Idaho students fatally stabbed to death by alleged killer Bryan Kohberger, has issued a stark warning to him ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for 26 June.

Mr Kohberger was arrested on charges of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in the attack on Kaylee, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.

The four students were found stabbed to death in their beds on 13 November 2022, at an off-campus house in the city of Moscow, home to the university.

Mr Kohberger was arrested on 30 December at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.

The latest development in the case is the release of new documents relating to the search of Mr Kohberger’s apartment near Washington State University, a short distance across the state line from Moscow, where he was pursuing a PhD.

A 166-page report on the search containing details of the items seized was obtained by The New York Times. These included possible hair strands, a computer, two stains that may be blood, and other items.

On Friday, Steve Goncalves, Kaylee’s father told ABC News: “I can’t wait to see the evidence… And then I’m gonna bring it.”

“And he’s gonna realize that this... is the family that’s gonna make sure he doesn’t get away with it,” he added.

Kaylee’s mother Kristi Goncalves said the family had given a lot of thought as to whether there was any connection between their daughter and her alleged killer.

“We’ve talked as a family, you know, we’ve done a lot of research on what’s out there... None of it makes sense,” she told ABC News.

Describing her reaction when she saw Mr Kohberger for the first time at an initial court appearance, she said: “I was completely overwhelmed. I actually almost thought I was gonna pass out.”

“My daughter saw him face-to-face and in a very different light than we saw him, sitting there, looking very meek,” she said.

Mr Goncalves has been especially vocal about seeking justice and was frustrated with the early pace of the investigation.

The family launched a Facebook page for people to send in tips and other information.

Ms Goncalves said that it is important for her family to united and strong ahead of June’s preliminary hearing.

“I’ve never been to a preliminary trial before. … I have no idea what to expect, I have no idea what we’re going to hear. … But I know that I’ve got my son, and my daughter will be there, and my sister, and my husband,” she told ABC News, admitting that she will try and avoid the courtroom during any graphic testimony.

“I’m not going to scar myself,” Ms Goncalves said. “I have visions of my own that, you know, I have to deal with.”

Mr Goncalves has also revealed that members of his family have been in touch with the two surviving roommates.

“It’s good to make sure that everybody going through this has somebody there to help them.”

Mr Kohberger is yet to enter a plea but a former attorney for him has said he is “eager to be exonerated”.

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