Bryan Kohberger’s parents — All about the accused Idaho killer’s family

By Sonam Peldon — ON Jan 18, 2023
Bryan Kohberger
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect arrested in connection to the November 2022 Idaho college murders, is awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled sometime toward the end of June 2023. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary for breaking into an off-campus house of four University of Idaho students and fatally stabbing them in their sleep.

Oddly enough, the 28-year-old suspect was a Ph. D student researching Criminology at Washington State University. With DNA and surveillance evidence under their belts, it took six weeks for the investigators to arrest Kohberger in his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.

Bryan Kohberger’s ‘genuinely kind and warm-hearted’ parents used to work in a local school district in Pennsylvania

According to statements given by former friends and schoolmates, Bryan Kohberger’s parents were “genuinely kind people” and were a normal “warm-hearted” family in every sense of the word. Both of them were employed in the Pleasant Valley School District in Pennsylvania and raised Kohberger along with his two older sisters, Amanda and Melissa.

His father, Michael Kohberger Jr. (67 years old), worked as a maintenance staff in the school district for 13 years from 2006 to 2019. At the same time, his mother, Maryann Kohberger (62 years old), was a paraprofessional substitute teacher who counseled special-needs students until her retirement in 2020.

Kohberger’s former classmate Deja Mann described Maryann as the “most kind individual” and said that she was well-regarded in her job. However, Mann noted that Maryann barely talked about her “loner” son, alluding to a complicated relationship between the two.

Maryann was also an outspoken and registered democrat who had made her views on abortion and the death penalty clear in the past, stating that she did not support any of the aforementioned causes. Recently, she advocated against gun violence in light of the Uvalde elementary school shooting.

The family has had their share of financial struggles as well, filing for bankruptcy twice in 15 years – once in 1996 and another in 2010. During their second bankruptcy, they had less than $450 in savings and were $260,000 in debt.

Shortly after committing the Idaho murders, Bryan Kohberger went on a pre-planned cross-country road trip with his father. It so happened that Michael had come to visit Bryan in Washington for Christmas and the two were traveling back to Pennsylvania for Bryan’s winter break.

Kohberger’s parents released a statement affirming their support for his ‘presumption of innocence’

On January 1, 2023, Kohberger’s parents made their first statement about the criminal proceedings against their son. In the statement issued via his public defender, Jason A. LaBar, the Kohbergers sympathized with the victims and their families, writing:

“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them.”

But the family affirmed their support for Bryan Kohberger while showcasing their willingness to cooperate in the legal process, expressing their intent to “promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions”.

In another interview with the press, attorney LaBar confirmed that Kohberger’s parents do not believe that their son committed the murders in what they described as an “out of character” action. He said:

“His family does not believe it to be Bryan. They can’t believe this; they are obviously very shocked. This is certainly completely out of character, the allegations, and really, they’re just trying to be supportive – with the understanding that these four families have suffered losses.”