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Family of Idaho stabbings suspect expresses support for him, sympathy for victims

University of Idaho President C. Scott Green speaks Friday during a news conference in Moscow, Idaho, regarding the arrest of a suspect in the killings of four students. (Austin Johnson/Lewiston Tribune/AP)
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The parents and sister of Bryan Kohberger, who is charged with killing four University of Idaho students in November, expressed support for him and sympathy for the victims Sunday in their first statement to the public since Kohberger’s arrest.

“As a family we will love and support our son and brother,” parents Michael and Marianne Kohberger, and sister Amanda, said in the statement released by Monroe County, Pa., public defender Jason LaBar. “We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence.”

“First and foremost we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” Kohberger’s family also said in the statement. “We pray each day for them.”

Kohberger, 28, plans to allow himself to be extradited to Idaho from Pennsylvania to face the charges against him, LaBar told The Washington Post on Saturday after speaking with Kohberger.

“He’s willing to waive [his right to an extradition hearing] because he’s looking forward to being exonerated. Those were his words,” LaBar said.

Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.

Police announced the arrest of Kohberger, a Washington State University doctoral student, in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Kohberger had been staying in his family home in Albrightsville in eastern Pennsylvania before his arrest, LaBar told The Post on Sunday. His father drove with him home from Pullman, the eastern Washington town where WSU is located, in mid-December.

The pair drove home across the country in a white Hyundai Elantra, according to LaBar. A car of the same model had been seen in the vicinity of the attacks, police said in early December, and one was seized by police during Kohberger’s arrest.

Kohberger’s mother and father said there had been “nothing out of the ordinary” about Kohberger’s behavior on the road trip and at home, LaBar said.

Kohberger’s arrest comes after a weeks-long investigation into the stabbing deaths of 20-year-olds Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin and 21-year-olds Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.

Their deaths in the early-morning hours of Nov. 13 as they slept in an off-campus home shocked the small city of Moscow, Idaho, and the country. Authorities, including the FBI, appealed to the public for tips and offered few updates over the next seven weeks before announcing Kohberger’s arrest.

Few other details of the case have been released to the public. Idaho state law prevents the release of an affidavit of probable cause until Kohberger appears in court there, according to local authorities.

If Kohberger goes through with his plan to not fight extradition, he would speed up his removal to Idaho and the likely release of additional information that might reveal what police believe happened on the night of the stabbings, as well as how they identified Kohberger as a suspect.

“The sealed court documents will only become open to the public once Kohberger has been seen in an Idaho court,” Capt. Anthony Dahlinger, a Moscow police spokesman, told The Post by email Saturday. “We do not have a timeline right now on when that may occur.”

Kohberger, a Pennsylvania native, had just completed his first semester at WSU’s criminal justice doctoral program, school officials said in an email Friday. He finished a master’s degree in criminal justice at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., in June, meaning he had been in Washington for less than a semester at the time of the killings.

Kohberger’s university office and apartment in Pullman, about a 15-minute drive from Moscow, were searched by Idaho authorities Friday, WSU officials said.

Justine McDaniel contributed to this report.