Idaho murder victim Kaylee Goncalves' family ready to face Bryan Kohberger's trial

Kaylee Goncalves' family is mentally preparing for Bryan Kohberger's quadruple murder trial.

Kohberger — who is accused of fatally stabbing Kaylee and her three friends, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, in their Moscow, Idaho, home on Nov. 13, 2022 — is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing next month.

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"I think a big thing is for us to go in strong, united as a family," Kristi Goncalves, Kaylee's mother, told "Good Morning America" in an interview that aired Friday. "I've never been to a preliminary trial before. ... I have no idea what to expect, I have no idea what we're going to hear. ... But I know that I've got my son, and my daughter will be there, and my sister, and my husband."


Kaylee Goncalves, one of four University of Idaho students found murdered Sunday in a home near campus. (Facebook)

She added, "We've talked as a family, you know, we've done a lot of research on what's out there. ... None of it makes sense."

Steve Goncalves, Kaylee's father, told GMA that he "can't wait to see the evidence."

"And then I'm gonna bring it," he said. "And he's gonna realize that this ... is the family that's gonna make sure he doesn't get away with it."

In the meantime, the Goncalves family plans to honor Kaylee and Mogen, who were best friends and both seniors at the University of Idaho, at the school's graduation ceremony on Saturday, which marks exactly six months since the four students were murdered near campus.

"She doesn't have sisters," Kaylee's sister, Autumn Goncelves, said of Mogen. "We are her sisters."


Bryan Kohberger enters a courtroom in Moscow, Idaho, Jan. 12, 2023, for a status hearing. He waived his right to a quick preliminary hearing and will appear in court again on June 26. (Kai Eiselein / Pool)

Kristi Goncelves told GMA that she "never thought a year ago or even six months ago that there was going to be a reason Kaylee wouldn't be able to accept her own degree."

The family will walk in honor of Kaylee at graduation as "a way to show unity and respect" for the 21-year-old woman, Kristi said.

"I just feel that it's important for somebody to walk for her," her mother continued.

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The four victims will receive posthumous degrees at the ceremony on Saturday.

Kohberger, 28, was a Ph.D. student studying criminology at the nearby Washington State University in Pullman — about a 15-minute drive from U of I. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary.

The quadruple stabbing inside a rental home just steps from campus where Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle were living together shocked the entire community and the nation. Nearly two months passed before Kohberger's arrest.


University of Idaho students

The 28-year-old graduate student attempted to travel cross-country to his home in Pennsylvania with his father after the murders.

The university is hosting two commencement ceremonies, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, with nine programs split between them.

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"The morning ceremony, at 9:30, will have Madison Mogen receiving a bachelor's degree in marketing and Xana Kernodle receiving a certificate in marketing," she said. "At the 2 p.m. ceremony, Ethan Chapin will get a certificate in recreation, sport and tourism management and Kaylee Goncalves will get a bachelor's degree in general studies."