The sister of a missing Pennsylvania woman says that despite her parents’ appeal for testimony, Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger is unlikely to be connected to her sister’s disappearance.
Dana Smithers, 45, disappeared on May 28, 2022. Her remains were discovered in a wooded area in Stroudsburg on April 27 this year – about 30 miles from Kohberger’s family home in Albrightsville.
In an explosive development this week, Kohberger’s parents were subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating his case.
Smithers’ family called the cops after being alerted by internet sleuths to the “possibility” that Kohberger was in the area at the time of her disappearance.
However, in an interview, Smithers’ sister Stacey Anne said NewsNation “there was evidence that he was not in the area where his sister was last seen” and therefore could not be linked to her disappearance.
The sister of a missing Pennsylvania woman, Dana Smithers (pictured right), said that despite her parents’ plea to testify, Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger (pictured left) did not is probably unrelated to her sister’s disappearance.
“She hopes people will continue to invest in Dana’s case to find out what happened,” she told Brian Entin.
It remains unclear why Kohrberger’s parents were summoned by the grand jury.
Smithers’ memo confirms what the Stroud Area Regional Police Department said Thursday: “SARPD has no evidence that the disappearance of Dana Smithers is in any way related to the suspect in the murder of the Idaho, Bryan Kohberger.”
Stacey Anne posted on her Facebook page, “Finding Dana,” on Jan. 2, thanking those who had “reached out recently regarding the possibility that the suspect in the horrific Idaho murders was in our area at the time of my sister, The disappearance of Dana.
She added: ‘I have forwarded all your suggestions to local law enforcement. Please pray for everyone involved.
CNN first reported the news, citing a source who said the accused killer’s mother has already testified before the grand jury while his father will appear to testify on Thursday.
The information may then be shared with Idaho prosecutors.
The Stroud Area Regional Police Department said it was: “Aware of the numerous news articles currently being reported in which various media outlets have reported links between the investigation into the missing person of SARPD’s Dana Smithers and the murder suspect of Idaho, Bryan Kohberger.”
A source said News Nation that Kohberger’s alibi proves he probably wasn’t involved in Smithers’ disappearance.
On the day of her disappearance, Smithers, her youngest daughter, 7, and the girl’s father had gone to a festival in Stroudsburg.
Smithers was no longer in a relationship with the father, but they were on good terms, according to friends.
The trio appeared to be in good spirits before heading back to Smithers’ home.
That night, Smithers went to the home of her friend and neighbor Tara Cioni, who later said she thought something was troubling her.
Smithers – who had a history of drug addiction – smoked, which she only did if she was “nervous” or nervous, Cioni said.
The mother-of-three was last seen in Cioni’s Ring camera footage around 11pm.
She was reported missing a few days later and her family said she would never have been away from her youngest daughter during that time.
Her mobile phone, wallet and daily medication were later found in her home.
His cause of death is still unknown.
Kohberger, 28, has been charged with murdering University of Idaho students Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, and young couple Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20 , on November 13 last year.
His father Michael is expected to testify in court on Thursday while his mother Maryann has already testified.
Maddie Mogen (top) Kaylee Goncalves (left) Xana Kernodle (right) and Ethan Chapin (center) – all University of Idaho students – were stabbed to death on November 13 in the quiet college town from Moscow
Transcripts from the closed session can be moved to Idaho where their son is scheduled to stand trial on October 2.
The suspect appeared Monday in an Idaho courtroom. He declined to plead to four counts of first degree murder.
Kohberger was expected to plead not guilty, but opted to use Idaho’s ‘silence’ plea, meaning he didn’t plead anyway but can still be judge.
Washington State University PhD Candidate has been behind bars since December 30, when police raided his parents’ home in Pennsylvania.
He was transferred to Latah County Jail on January 4, where he has remained ever since.
The criminology major is believed to have planned the murders of the four Idaho students with a probable cause affidavit noting that he had traveled to the area around their home several times prior to the murders.
Her DNA was found on a KA-BAR knife sheath found alongside the bodies of Kaylee and Madison.
Goncalves and Mogen were discovered dead in a bed next to each other, while Chapin and Kernodle were found on the floor below, with Kernodle being discovered slumped on his bedroom floor.
According to the document, survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke heard something of what happened, with Mortensen telling cops she heard Goncalves say “there’s someone here” around 4 a.m.
Police descended on Kohberger’s family home at Indian Mountain Lake Estates in Chestnuthill Township in Albrightsville just before 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 30.
Ten minutes later, she heard a loud thump and cry coming from Kernodle’s room and a male voice saying “it’s okay, I’ll help you”.
Minutes later, Mortensen said she opened her bedroom door and saw a tall, bushy-browed man walk out of the sliding glass doors at the back of the house.
She described how she was “frozen in shock” as the suspect walked towards her. Mortensen said she locked herself in her room after he left.
The affidavit also reveals that Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra was filmed near the scene before being seen speeding away from the house toward Pullman at around 4:20 a.m.
Police quickly connected the vehicle to Kohberger and noted the similarity between its appearance and Mortensen’s description of the intruder at the rental house.
May 28, 2022: Dana Smithers, 45, is missing, after she was last seen in Ring doorbell footage of her friend’s home in Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania
June 2022: Bryan Kohberger graduates from DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where he has studied since 2018
November 13, 2022: Four University of Idaho students are murdered. At that time, Kohberger was a criminology doctoral student and teaching assistant at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, about eight miles from the Idaho Student Residence.
December 30, 2022: Police arrest Kohberger during a raid on his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
January 2, 2023: Smithers’ family call the cops after internet sleuths alert them to the ‘possibility’ Kohberger had ‘been in the area’ at the time of his disappearance
January 4, 2023: Kohberger is repatriated to Idaho. He is officially charged with the murder of the four Idaho students the next day
April 27, 2023: Pennsylvania police are called after human remains are found in a wooded area in Stroudsburg – about 30 miles from the Kohberger family home
May 1, 2023: Police identify remains as Dana Smithers and she is pronounced dead