What to Know About Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger's Family

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Jun. 27 2023, Published 12:25 p.m. ET

As he prepares to stand trial for the murder of four Idaho college students, Bryan Kohberger is also coming to national attention more prominently. Kohberger, who is also facing one count of robbery for breaking into the students' rental home, could be sentenced to death if he's found guilty during the trial.

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Kohberger is accused of murdering Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20 and Ethan Chapin, 20, in November 2022.

As news around the trial heats up, some want to learn more about Kohberger's family, and better understand where this accused murderer comes from.

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What to know about Bryan Kohberger's family.

Bryan Kohberger's father is Michael, and his mother is Maryann. Michael and Maryann had three children together — two daughters and a son. Their eldest daughter, Amanda, was born in 1988, and their second daughter Melissa was born in 1991. Bryan is their youngest child, and was born in 1994. The family has lived in and around Monroe County, Pa., for years.

In fact, the family's Pennsylvania roots are one of the main reasons that Michael and Maryann were called to testify before a grand jury in a case that appears to be unrelated to the Idaho murders. In this case, a 45-year-old woman in Monroe County named Dana Smithers disappeared and was later found dead. In spite of their decision to call Bryan's parents to testify, though, local police said they had no evidence linking Bryan to this crime.

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Michael and Bryan were spotted driving from Washington State back to Pennsylvania in the aftermath of the Idaho college student murders, leading many to wonder if Michael was aware of the crimes and was helping his son flee. Michael has yet to be charged with anything, though, and it took some time for the investigation to narrow in on Bryan the way that it ultimately did.

As for Bryan's siblings, Melissa is said to be a mental health therapist working in New Jersey, per the Sun, while not much is known about Amanda other than that she appeared in a 2011 horror film — which just so happened to be about a group of students who were stabbed to death. The director of that film told the New York Post in January 2023 that Amanda had been "lovely" and "very nice."

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What is Bryan Kohberger's religion?

In addition to curiosity about Bryan's family, some have also wondered what Bryan's religion might be. Reports from March 2023 suggests that Bryan has been attending Mass while in jail.

"I've not heard about him being especially religious in the past, but apparently he does have this Mass that he attends," NewsNation reporter Brian Entin said during an appearance on the network's show Banfield (per Newsweek). "He has conversations there with the priest. What he's talking about, we don't know but we've confirmed that he is going to to Mass."

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News broke in June 2023 that prosecutors in Bryan's case are planning to seek the death penalty because the killings were “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” and Bryan showed no regard for human life. Bryan was in a Ph.D. program at Washington State University when the murders occurred, and he declined to enter a plea at a pre-trial hearing recently, leading the judge to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

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