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Father of Idaho murder victim Kaylee Goncalves says cops ‘never mentioned’ suspect’s name to family and ‘everything was kept under wraps’ – as he praises investigators who he once criticized

  • Steve Goncalves revealed he had never heard suspect Bryan Kohberger’s name
  • Kohberger was arrested Friday in University of Idaho quadruple-homicide
  • Goncalves expressed joy at the arrest, hours before planned memorial service
  • Family had feared the killer might secretly attend the public church service 

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The father of one of the four University of Idaho students slain in their off-campus house has revealed that he had never heard the suspected killer’s name, either before or during the investigation.

Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee Goncalves, spoke out hours after Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested on Friday and charged with the November 13 murders.

‘No, we had not. That’s just completely honest,’ Steve told Fox News when asked whether he had ever heard of Kohberger. ‘Everything was kept under the wraps.’

‘The investigation did everything they could to keep this away from the public, to keep the jury untainted, do everything by the book. And I believe they have done an amazing job of that,’ he added.

Steve also expressed gratitude that Kohberger had been taken into custody before a ‘celebration of life’ for Kaylee and her best friend Maddie Mogen, which was held Friday afternoon. 

Steve Goncalves, the father of victim Kaylee Goncalves, said he had never heard the suspected killer's name, either before or during the investigation

Steve Goncalves, the father of victim Kaylee Goncalves, said he had never heard the suspected killer’s name, either before or during the investigation

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested on Friday and charged with the November 13 murders of four University of Idaho students

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested on Friday and charged with the November 13 murders of four University of Idaho students

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‘It was important for us to have this person of interest in custody, so they weren’t possibly in that audience, because we made it open,’ he explained.

‘And we knew, if we made ourselves vulnerable like that, we didn’t want somebody to be taking advantage of that and feeding off that. Or we definitely don’t want to feed somebody who’s a predator to our environment,’ he added.

Steve, who was outspoken in criticizing police as the investigation dragged out over months with few updates to the public, was quick to reverse his stance following the arrest.

Idaho murders arrest: the latest 

‘I want to commend those police officers in everything that they have done, because it has been very difficult to work with all the media, especially me being so vocal,’ 

‘I think it’s gotten better. And I really appreciate that they have made some adjustments for our family. And we have noticed those things,’ he added.

Kohberger, a criminology graduate student at Washington State University, was arrested in Pennsylvania and charged with the murders of Kaylee, Maddie, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

Kohberger, 28, was taken into custody by the Pennsylvania State Police at a home in Albrightsville, a small town in the heart of the Poconos Mountains more than 2,000 miles from where the gruesome killings took place on November 13. 

A memorial service for Kaylee Goncalves and Maddie Mogen was set to take place at 6pm ET - hours after news of the arrest broke

A memorial service for Kaylee Goncalves and Maddie Mogen was set to take place at 6pm ET – hours after news of the arrest broke

Flowers and yellow police tape outside the Moscow, ID property where four University Students where murdered

Flowers and yellow police tape outside the Moscow, ID property where four University Students where murdered

Kaylee, Maddie (pictured) and Xana Kernodle, 20, were stabbed to death in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13 - with Xana's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, also killed in the massacre

Kaylee, Maddie (pictured) and Xana Kernodle, 20, were stabbed to death in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13 – with Xana’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, also killed in the massacre

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said investigators believe Kohberger broke into the students’ home ‘with the intent to commit murder.’ 

Police reportedly found DNA evidence linking Kohberger to the crime scene. 

However, Kohberger has no prior arrests, according to public records, so it is unclear how officials got hold of his DNA. 

Authorities then discovered that he had left the area and traveled to Pennsylvania, where an FBI surveillance team had been tracking the 6ft tall man.

He was kept under surveillance, with the FBI watching him for four days, while investigators from Moscow Police and Idaho State Police worked to get an arrest warrant.

NewsNation reported that Kohberger had a ‘quiet, blank stare’ when arrested by local cops and the FBI on Friday morning. 

Kohberger was a PhD student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, which is a short drive across the state line from the University of Idaho.

Kohberger graduated from DeSales University in Pennsylvania in May 2022 with a master of arts in Criminal Justice

Kohberger graduated from DeSales University in Pennsylvania in May 2022 with a master of arts in Criminal Justice

Friday’s arrest is the first major break in the case. Kohberger reportedly asked if ‘anyone else was arrested’ when he was taken into custody. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Earlier on Friday, Kristi and Steve Goncalves, Kaylee’s parents, spoke of their relief in response to the arrest made at 3am on Friday morning.

The memorial service for their daughter and Maddie was set to take place at 6pm ET, hours after the announcement was made.

Cheryl Goncalves, Kaylee’s grandmother, told the New York Post: ‘Of course we’re relieved. This is what we wanted. We wanted him caught and now we want justice.’

Cara Northington, the mother of Xana, said that she feels like a ‘huge weight has been lifted’ off her shoulders – after a ‘nightmare’.

She told NBC: ‘A lot of the grief was not knowing who this was, knowing that whoever was responsible for that is still out there.

‘So yeah, this definitely takes a lot of the grief that we were experiencing off our shoulders. It’s unreal; I’m thankful to everybody for finding this creep.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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