Moment Idaho student murders suspect arrives in court for arraignment
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The parents of Idaho murders suspect Bryan Kohberger have been ordered to testify before a grand jury in the family’s home state of Pennsylvania in the case of a woman found dead almost a year after her sudden disappearance.
CNN first reported the news, citing a source who said that the accused killer’s mother has already given evidence to the grand jury while his father will appear to testify on Thursday. The information can then be shared with Idaho prosecutors.
The investigation is said to be about the disappearance and death of a 45-year-old woman Dana Smithers, reported Eyewitness News.
Smithers vanished without a trace in May 2022 from Monroe County, Pennsylvania – where Mr Kohberger was living at the time. Her remains were found last month in a wooded area.
The bombshell revelation comes days after Mr Kohberger was arraigned on four counts of murder and one count of burglary in Moscow, Idaho.
Mr Kohberger is accused of killing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, on 13 November in an attack that rocked the college town and sent shockwaves across America.
- She vanished months before the Idaho murders. Why has her death been linked to Bryan Kohberger?
- Bryan Kohberger’s parents ordered to testify in case of woman who vanished months before Idaho murders
- Four students stabbed to death, a weeks-long manhunt and still no motive: What we know about the Idaho murders
- Families of slain University of Idaho students prepare to sue college over murders
- There was a glaring mistake at the Idaho murders hearing
Dana Smithers’s sister noted possible link to Idaho case months ago
Back in January, Stacey posted an update on the Facebook page “Finding Dana” saying that many people had contacted her about a possible link between her sister’s disappearance and the Idaho murders.
“Thank you to everyone who has been reaching out recently regarding the possibility of the suspect in the horrific murders in Idaho having been in our area around the time of my sister, Dana’s disappearance,” she wrote.
“I have forwarded all of your suggestions on to local law enforcement. Please pray for everyone involved.”
Andrea Blanco25 May 2023 17:09
What is Bryan Kohberger’s connection to the Dana Smithers’ case?
There are many unanswered questions around what happened to Smithers – and what it may have to do with Mr Kohberger.
It is currently unclear why Mr Kohberger’s parents Michael and Maryann Kohberger have been called to testify in the case.
At the time of Smithers’ disappearance in May 2022, Mr Kohberger was also living in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, with his family.
That summer, he then moved cross-country to Pullman for a graduate program in criminal justice at Washington State University (WSU).
A few months later on 13 November, he allegedly broke into an off-campus student home just over the border in Moscow, Idaho, and murdered the four college students.
In that case, it remains unclear what motive and what connection Mr Kohberger may have had to the victims.
And now, in Smithers’ case, a possible link also remains unclear.
Mr Kohberger is said to have a solid alibi for Smithers’ disappearance and is likely not connected to her death, a source told Eyewitness News. But the grand jury investigation is still ongoing and no findings have been revealed.
However, it comes following a report that one of the accused killer’s older sisters grew increasingly suspicious that her brother could have been involved in the Idaho murders prior to his arrest.
Her suspicions were so great that – at one point – several family members searched Mr Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra for possible evidence of the crime when the family gathered to spend the holidays together, sources told NBC’s Dateline.
They found nothing but investigators had already allegedly seen Mr Kohberger scrubbing his car with bleach.
Rachel Sharp25 May 2023 16:30
Dana Smithers’ remains found
Almost one year after she was last seen alive, on 27 April Smithers’ remains were found in a wooded area in Stroudsburg.
Stroud Area Regional Police said that a Borough employee had discovered decomposing human remains in a wooded area close to Park Avenue in the Borough of Stroudsburg.
Due to extensive decomposition, the gender and identity of the individual was unclear at the time.
Using dental records, the remains were later identified as belonging to Smithers.
Her cause and manner of death is not yet known.
Rachel Sharp25 May 2023 16:00
The search for Dana Smithers
Smithers was last seen alive on 28 May 2022 when she left her friend’s house.
It was the following morning when Smithers’ mother realised her daughter had not come home that night.
Initially, the family wasn’t too concerned as Stacey said the 45-year-old had stayed out all night in the past.
But, when she didn’t show up for Memorial Day celebrations with the family on 30 May, they knew something must be wrong.
Smithers and her children, aged 25, 23 and 7, had a family tradition to go to Knoebels Park in Pennsylvania ever Memorial Day.
“She would not have missed Memorial Day,” said Stacey, adding that she would also never have left her youngest child for that long.
“She didn’t do anything that didn’t involve her kids,” she said. “That was her thing. I mean she was always there with the kids.”
Smithers was finally reported missing days later after Stacey said law enforcement initially didn’t take her disappearance seriously.
In June, the Pennsylvania State Police and local police carried out searches with cadaver dogs at Glen Park in Stroudsburg – a heavily wooded area close to her home. The search did not turn up anything and the case went cold for months.
For almost a year, the mother-of-three’s family desperately searched for answers and Smither’s case featured in an episode of NBC’s Dateline in December 2022 – one month after the four students were murdered in Idaho.
Stacey feared the worst, saying: “I think something happened. I don’t think she’s here anymore.”
Rachel Sharp25 May 2023 15:30
Dana Smithers’ last known movements
In May 2022, Smithers vanished without a trace from Monroe County – the same county in Pennsylvania where Mr Kohberger was living at the time before moving cross-country to Washington state in the summer to pursue a graduate degree program in criminal justice.
A ring video camera captured Smithers leaving a neighbour’s house at around 11.05pm on the night of 28 May, holding her cellphone in her hand.
She was never seen alive again.
What was especially odd was that Smithers’ cellphone, wallet and daily medication were all found at her home.
Earlier that day, Smithers and her youngest daughter, 7, had gone to a local festival at the Happy Hour Bar and Grille in Stroudsburg with her daughter’s father.
Smithers’ sister Stacey told NBC’s Dateline in December that the couple were no longer together but were still on good terms.
At the festival, Smithers appeared to be having a good time, dancing and saying hello to people.
The three later returned to the home that Smithers, her daugher and Smithers’ mother shared.
Later that night, best friend Tara Cioni said that Smithers called into her home to hang out. The two women lived just a couple of doors down from each other and would often just call in to see each other on an evening.
“We’re best friends. She’s been my neighbor for 16 years. We’ve raised our children together,” Ms Cioni told Dateline.
“It was an open door policy, like, with her. So she came in and she was here for a little bit.”
Ms Cioni said that, in hindsight, she wonders if something was troubling her friend that night.
Smithers – who had a history of substance abuse – was smoking, something she only did if she was “nervous” or on edge.
Ms Cioni said that Smithers later asked her if she wanted to come back to her house to hang out but she was tired so said she was going to bed.
That was the last time anyone saw her.
Rachel Sharp25 May 2023 15:03
ICYMI: Bryan Kohberger’s parents to testify in 2022 Dana Smithers case - report
Bryan Kohberger’s parents have been called to testify before a grand jury in Pennsylvania in a case related to Dana Smithers, who went missing in 2022, according to NewsNation.
Smithers, a 45-year-old woman, was last seen on 28 May 2022 in Monroe County and her remains were discovered in a wooded area in Stroudsburg on 27 April, around 30 miles away from Kohberger’s home in Albrightsville.
However, a source told NewsNation that Mr Bryan’s alibi proves that he likely wasn’t involved in Smithers’ missing case.
But the grand jury has not concluded their proceedings in the case and investigations are ongoing.
Shweta Sharma25 May 2023 14:00
Idaho murder victim’s father shares stark warning to alleged killer: ‘He’s gonna realize’
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.
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.”
Idaho murder victim Kaylee Goncalves’ father issues stark warning to alleged killer
Idaho college murders
Shweta Sharma25 May 2023 13:30
Novelist James Patterson, journalist Vicky Ward plan book on killing of Idaho college students
Best-selling novelist James Patterson is teaming up with investigative journalist Vicky Ward on a book about the 2022 killing of four University of Idaho students.
Little, Brown and Company announced Friday that Mr Patterson and Mr Ward will “draw from dozens of exclusive interviews, extensive on-the-ground reporting, copious court transcripts” and their own planned attendance at the trial of suspect Bryan Kohberger, who was indicated this week by a grand jury in Boise.
“The Idaho murders have captured imaginations all around the world and I’m as caught up in it as anyone else. Because all of this happened in such a small town, there are definitely echoes of ‘In Cold Blood,’” Mr Patterson said in a statement.
He is one of the world’s most prolific and popular novelists, but also has worked on nonfiction books, with subjects ranging from Princess Diana to Jeffrey Epstein.
Novelist James Patterson, journalist Vicky Ward plan book on killing of Idaho college students
Best-selling novelist James Patterson is teaming up with investigative journalist Vicky Ward on a book about the 2022 killing of four University of Idaho students
Shweta Sharma25 May 2023 13:00
What happened to Dana Smithers and why has her death been linked to Bryan Kohberger?
The horrifying case of four University of Idaho students butchered in an off-campus home has taken another dramatic twist after it emerged that the parents of their accused killer have been called to testify in a separate case thousands of miles away in Pennsylvania.
Bryan Kohberger’s parents have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating the disappearance and death of mother-of-three Dana Smithers.
Smithers was last seen alive in May 2022. Her remains were discovered last month, her cause of death still unknown.
It remains unclear what connection – if any – her disappearance and death may have to Mr Kohberger but multiple outlets reported that Mr Kohberger’s parents Michael and Maryann Kohberger have been ordered to testify in the case.
So who was Dana Smithers and what happened to her?
What happened to Dana Smithers? Woman whose death now linked to Bryan Kohberger
Dana Smithers was last seen alive in May 2022. Her remains were found in a wooded area last month. Now, Bryan Kohberger’s parents are testifying in an investigation into her death. Rachel Sharp reports
Rachel Sharp25 May 2023 12:41
Idaho murder victims’ families accepted posthumous degrees at graduation ceremony
The grieving families of two slain University of Idaho students accepted their posthumous degrees on 13 May.
Six months after best friends, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, were killed in their sleep at their off-campus home in Moscow, their loved ones received the awards during two separate ceremonies.
Goncalves’ four siblings received their sister’s general studies diploma while Mogen’s parents were given her marketing degree.
Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chaplin, who were also killed in the 13 November attack, received certificates for semesters they had completed.
Kernodle’s family accepted her certificate in marketing at a private ceremony last week while Chapin’s award in sports, recreation and management will be mailed to his parents.
Shweta Sharma25 May 2023 12:00