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‘We will forgive him’: Parents of Idaho victim

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MOSCOW, Idaho — Steve and Kristi Goncalves, the parents of one of the four slain University of Idaho students, joined NewsNation’s “Banfield” exclusively Thursday after Bryan Kohberger‘s first court appearance.

Kaylee Goncalves was one of the four students killed in an off-campus stabbing in November. Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin also were killed.

Steve Goncalves told “Banfield” that while he and Kristi will forgive Kohberger one day, “he has to pay for what he’s done.” 

“Justice is when you leave the planet … and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you are not there. That’s justice, and we will forgive him,” he said.

Kristi Goncalves told “Banfield” that when she first saw Kohberger in court, she felt nothing. “I just could not believe that he has done what he has done. … I just was numb.”

When asked what she’d say to Kohberger, she responded: “Does he realize what he has taken from us … from these four families? Ethan was a triplet … Maddie was an only child. Xana had siblings. Kaylee was one of five. The immense loss … He did really think about it, which makes it really hard,” Kristi said.

Steve added that Kohberger “picked the wrong community.”

“My girls have been through a lot, and they weren’t the ones to pick on somebody. They were the ones to stick up for you,” he said.

Police identified Kohberger through a combination of DNA evidence at the scene, cellphone records and Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra, according to a newly unsealed probable cause affidavit.

The court records — which became available Thursday morning, shortly before Kohberger made his first appearance in court — revealed the justification authorities used to obtain a warrant for Kohberger’s arrest.

As the investigation progressed, police were ridiculed for remaining quiet, with some suggesting local authorities might be overwhelmed, underqualified or simply incompetent.

Goncalves told “Banfield” that initially, he was hard on Moscow authorities but now, “all is forgiven.”

“These guys did an amazing job. They need more credit than they had. They hit a homerun. That affidavit is impressive,”Goncalves said. “I was concerned, but I was wrong, they were right, and I’m OK with that.”

Steve and Kristi Goncalves thanked Ashleigh Banfield and Brian Entin for their dedicated and continued coverage of the murders.

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