MaryAnn Kohberger and Michael Kohberger are the parents of University of Idaho quadruple murder suspect Bryan Kohberger.
In a press release first obtained by TMZ, the Kohberger family released a statement through the Monroe County public defender who is representing Kohberger.
“First and foremost we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” the family’s statement reads.
“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,” it continues.
“We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to see the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the the legal process.”
The press release was titled “Kohberger family statement” and was signed by Jason Allen LaBar, chief public defender, and counsel for Kohberger.
In June 2022, Kohberger’s mother wrote a letter to the editor of the Pocono Record about the Uvalde elementary school shooting in Texas.
Kohberger’s mother and father filed for bankruptcy twice, according to federal court records accessed through the Pacer website. Thomas Arntz, a former high school friend of Kohberger’s, told Daily Beast that his mother was a substitute teacher and his father worked in maintenance, calling them “genuinely kind people.”
Kohberger’s lawyer described his family as “very shocked” to CNN, and he said Michael Kohberger, the father, opened the door when authorities showed up to arrest Bryan Kohberger.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, is a criminology graduate student in Washington State who is now accused in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students who were killed in their off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13, 2022, authorities said in a news conference. Kohberger was arrested on December 30, 2022, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, where his parents live, court records show.
Court records show that Bryan Kohberger’s father is named Michael Kohberger. He also has a sister who is a mental health therapist, his mother revealed in the letter to the editor.
The victims were all University of Idaho students. They were identified by police as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
Kohberger, an Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, native, is a graduate student studying criminology and criminal justice at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, near Moscow, Idaho, the university’s website says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. MaryAnn Kohberger Wrote in the Letter to the Editor That She Struggles With Which Actions Need to Be Taken to ‘Stop All the Madness’
MaryAnn Kohberger waded into the public debate after the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school mass shooting, in which Salvador Ramos was accused of entering Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and shooting 19 students and two fourth-grade teachers to death on May 24, 2022.
On June 2, 2022, MaryAnn Kohberger penned a letter to the editor about the Uvalde mass shooting that was called, “I pray we consider the children, before the gun.”
The letter was published in The Pocono Record.
MaryAnn Kohberger wrote, “As I sat this morning, reeling from yet another school shooting, I found myself wrestling with which actions need to be taken to stop all the madness. What is the answer? Gun control measures? Mental health intervention?”
2. MaryAnn Kohberger Shared a Poem Written by Kohberger’s Therapist Sister About Uvalde & Also Wrote a Letter to the Editor About Abortion
In the letter, MaryAnn Kohberger revealed that her daughter, the suspect’s sister, worked as mental health therapist in New Jersey. Her daughter, Melissa Kohberger, had written a poem about Uvalde, MaryAnn Kohberger wrote in the letter to the editor, sharing the poem:
Bereft of their laughter
There is now not a sound
As we lower our children into the ground
Small hands and feet
Buried six feet deep into the earth of the world that failed them.
“As I read the poem, I thought, whatever the solution, I pray we consider the children before the gun,” the poem reads.
Melissa Kohberger is a licensed associate counselor in New Jersey, according to ZenCare.
“With the rigorous demands of modern society, many people find themselves stuck in boxes separating them from their inner knowing. This can lead to a blurred sense of identity, a lack of purpose, and a host of mental health challenges. Melissa guides her clients on a journey to reconnect with their intuition and build a life aligning with their values and inner truth,” the Zencare page says of Melissa Kohberger.
MaryAnn Kohberger, whose hometown was listed as the Town of Effort, also wrote a letter to the editor for the Pocono Record that read, “I would like to respond to the general misconception, often represented on this page, that all Democrats support abortion rights. I do not personally support abortion, and by all means do not support the death penalty.”
3. Bryan Kohberger, Whose High School Years Included a Dramatic Weight Loss, Was Staying at His Parents’ House When He Was Arrested
According to CNN, Kohberger’s attorney Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar told the network that Kohberger “is eager to be exonerated of these charges and looks forward to resolving these matters as promptly as possible.”
LaBar told CNN that Kohberger traveled to Pennsylvania to be with his family for the holidays, saying, “His father actually went out (to Idaho) and they drove home together.” LaBar told CNN that Kohberger’s father, Michael Kohberger, opened the door when police showed up.
The lawyer told CNN that he has spoken with Kohberger’s family and “They’re also very shocked,” calling the accusations “out of character for Bryan.”
CNN reported that Kohberger was being surveilled by a Philadelphia FBI field team for four days before his arrest in the morning hours of December 30, 2022, and that authorities have matched his DNA to the crime scene.
NBC Philadelphia reported that Kohberger was “taken into custody near the Pocono Mountains” in connection with the November 13, 2022, Moscow homicides.
A neighbor told WPVI that “police and FBI raided the suspect’s parents home around 1 a.m. She says they towed away a vehicle matching the white Elantra for which Idaho authorities had been searching,” according to WPVI reporter, Chad Pradelli.
“Neighbor tell Action News she’d seen Idaho murder suspect, Bryan Kohberger, going in and out of parents Poconos home in recent weeks,” Pradelli wrote on Twitter.
The Daily Beast reported that former friends told the publication that Kohberger’s high school years “were marked by a drastic weight loss, as well as cruel bullying, and a deep interest in police movies and criminology.”
Nick McLoughlin, a former friend of Kohberger’s, told the Daily Beast that Kohberger went through a dramatic change between his junior and senior years of high school, going from overweight to “thinner than a rail” and becoming “aggressive.”
An anonymous Reddit poster wrote about knowing Kohberger and his mother in intermediate school. The moderator of the thread said he had verified that the poster did in fact know Kohberger. The post reads,
I knew Bryan at Pleasant Valley Intermediate School. He was overweight when we were short term friends. He was bullied a lot and socially awkward. He also had anger issues. I definitely got the impression that he is potentially on the Autism spectrum (I am an Aspie myself so I know it when I see it). Our friendship ended after he got in a physical fight with me. He lost weight going into high school (had to be close to 100 lbs of weight loss), hence why he looks older. He frequented a boxing gym during his weight loss. Friends from high school say he became more aggressive after losing weight. He had trouble making friends when we were were acquainted. Iirc, his mom is/was a school staff member. She was VERY sweet. I really hope she’s innocent in all this as she was very nice to me and many other PV students. Feel free to ask me any questions, but I don’t know much beyond this.
4. Michael & MaryAnn Kohberger Filed for Bankruptcy in 1995 & 2010
Federal court records accessed through the Pacer website show that Michael and MaryAnn Kohberger filed for bankruptcy twice.
In 1995, Kohberger’s parents, Michael F. Kohberger and Maryann Kohberger filed for bankruptcy, the federal court records say. Federal court records say the final decree was filed in April 1996.
The 2010 bankruptcy filing can be read in full here.
The bankruptcy documents give the couple’s names as Michael Francis Kohberger Jr. and Maryann Racquel Kohberger, and their home address as Effort, Pennsylvania.
The parents’ assets were listed at $154,719.11, and their liabilities were listed at $260,173.16 to creditors. Their current monthly income was listed at $4,391.87. Their primary asset was a $150,000 interest in their Effort home. They listed $65 cash on hand, and a savings account with $49.77 in it. They also declared a bedroom set, microwave oven, and other furniture and appliances worth $1,350.
The documents indicated that both parents had public school employees’ pensions. Their cars were listed as a 1997 Lincoln Continental worth $1,250, and a 1997 Nissan Altima, worth $488. The debts included their mortgage and a variety of credit cards, the records show.
The records list Michael’s job as “maintenance” for the Pleasant Valley School District in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, a position he had held for 2.5 years. The mother’s position was listed as a para professional for the same school district for 7 years. Her average monthly income was $1,346, and his was $2,2229, the records say. They listed income of between $47,000 and $49,000 in 2007 and 2008 under “income from employment or operation of business,” according to the bankruptcy records.
5. Bryan Kohberger’s ‘Bizarre Eating Habits’ Were a Cause of Family Concern, Reports Say
Bryan Kohberger “worried his family with his bizarre eating habits,” a former aunt told The New York Post, describing the eating habits as “very, very weird.”
“It was above and beyond being vegan,” the aunt told The Post, saying, “His aunt and uncle had to buy new pots and pans because he would not eat from anything that had ever had meat cooked in them. He seemed very OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder].”
The Moscow, Idaho website created by authorities summarizes the case, saying that, on the evening of November 12, victims Goncalves and Mogen were “at a local bar called Corner Club at 202 N. Main Street, in downtown Moscow, between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. on November 13th.”
At approximately 1:40 a.m., the two “were seen on video at a local food vendor called the ‘Grub Truck’ at 318 S. Main Street and used a private party for a ride home from downtown to arrive at their 1122 King Road residence around 1:56 a.m.,” the website statement says.
Investigators have determined that Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were seen at the Sigma Chi house on the University of Idaho Campus at 735 Nez Perce Drive. At approximately 1:45 a.m., Ethan and Xana are believed to have returned to the residence at 1122 King Road. It was previously reported that Ethan resided at the home; however, it has been determined that he was only visiting.
Detectives believe that on November 12th, the two surviving roommates had also been out in the Moscow community, separately, but returned home by 1 a.m. on November 13th. The two did not wake up until later that morning.
On November 13th, the surviving roommates summoned friends to the residence because they believed one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up. At 11:58 a.m., a 911 call requested aid for an unconscious person. The call was made from one of the surviving roommates’ cell phones inside the residence. Multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher before Moscow Police arrived at the location. Officers entered the residence and found two victims on the second floor and two victims on the third floor.