The parents of Bryan Kohberger, Michael and Maryann Kohberger, were called to testify in front of a Pennsylvania grand jury this week in connection with the May 2022 disappearance of a woman found dead in April, according to local reports.
Dana Smithers, 45, was last seen leaving a friend’s house in Monroe County the evening of May 28.
Almost a year later, her remains were recovered in Stroudsburg – a Poconos community about a 30-minute drive from the Kohberger family home in Albrightsville.
However, the Stroud Area Police Department said Thursday that investigators had discovered zero evidence linking Kohberger to Smithers’ death.
IDAHO MURDERS: BRYAN KOHBERGER’S ARREST RESURRECTS COLD CASES IN REGION
“The SARPD has NO EVIDENCE that Dana Smither’s disappearance, is in ANY WAY tied to Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger,” the agency wrote on Facebook.
And the suspected killer has a “good alibi” in Smithers’ case, according to the Wilkes-Barre-based WBRE/WYOU, citing a source close to the case.
In Idaho a grand jury recently returned an indictment on four charges of first-degree murder and another of felony burglary for allegedly breaking into the King Road rental home to kill Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.
Kohberger began a Ph.D. program at Washington State University in the fall of 2022. The school is about 10 miles from the University of Idaho, where he is accused of brutally stabbing four undergrads at 4 a.m. on Nov. 13.
IDAHO MURDERS: BRYAN KOHBERGER’S DEFENSE STANDS SILENT AT ARRAIGNMENT, JUDGE ENTERS NOT GUILTY PLEAS
All four students had been stabbed multiple times, according to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt – and at least some of them were likely sleeping at the start of the 4 a.m. massacre.
Despite the horrific allegations and a past drug problem, Kohberger had a squeaky clean record prior to his arrest on Dec. 30 at his parents’ house – after a cross-country drive home from WSU with his dad in the suspect vehicle.
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However, his arrest soon led investigators in several local communities to look for potential links to unsolved cases nearby.
“One thing about cold cases is you always look to see if your case is connected to any others, and the reason behind that is many times those cases will hold clues for each one,” said Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant who was the commanding officer of the Bronx Cold Case Squad from 2007 to 2009. “If you can put them all together, you can put together the entire package.”
However, the professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice noted that not all cases turn up links — because not every suspect is a serial offender.
At his arraignment on the murder charges in Idaho’s Latah County Monday, Kohberger declined to enter a plea.
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District Judge John Judge entered not guilty pleas on all counts on his behalf, scheduling an October trial.
Kohberger is being held at the county jail next door without bail in the meantime. If prosecutors choose to seek the death penalty, they have 60 days from Monday to formally notify the court.
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