THE DISAPPEARANCE of a Pennsylvania woman has an eery connection to accused murderer Bryan Kohberger’s family.
Here’s what we know about her case and the Kohbergers‘ connection.
Who was Dana Smithers?
Dana Smithers was a 45-year-old woman from Pennsylvania.
Not much is known about her personal life, but her sister, Stacey, told Dateline in May 2023 that she was a mother to three children whose ages range from 7 to 25.
“She didn’t do anything that didn’t involve her kids,” Stacey explained, via NBC News.
“That was her thing. I mean she was always there with the kids.”
Smithers was reported missing in May 2022 and her body was then found the following year.
What happened to Dana Smithers?
Police discovered “what was believed to be human remains” in a “wooded area next to Park Avenue/ 80 E on-ramp, in the Borough of Stroudsburg,” on April 27, 2023, according to a press release.
An autopsy that was conducted on May 1 then confirmed that the remains belonged to Smithers.
At this time, her cause of death has not been released but an investigation is still ongoing.
Smithers’ body was discovered in the same Pennsylvania county where accused Idaho murderer Bryan Kohberger lived.
The Stroud Area Regional Police Department released a statement saying that there is “NO EVIDENCE” in “ANY WAY” connecting Kohberger to Smithers’ death, however, his parents were called to testify before a grand jury in connection to the case, according to Newsnation.
Sources told the outlet that Kohberger has a “solid alibi” and is “likely not connected to Smither’s disappearance,” but at this time, it is not known what information his parents could provide to the grand jury.
When approached by CNN, the attorney representing Kohberger’s parents declined to comment on the proceedings.
Kohberger remains imprisoned in Moscow, Idaho awaiting trial after he was accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022.
In court, he elected not to enter any plea, so Judge John C. Judge entered a not-guilty plea for him on May 22, 2023, according to The New York Times.
Who are Bryan Kohberger’s parents?
Kohberger was born on November 21, 1994, to Michael and Maryann Kohberger.
Not much is known about either of his parents, but The U.S. Sun exclusively learned through letters that his mother decried abortion, school shooters, and the death penalty while working as a paraprofessional.
“I pray we consider the children, before the gun,” Maryann wrote in one of her letters.
In another, she said: “I do not personally support abortion, and by all means do not support the death penalty.”
Since Kohberger was arrested, his family has avoided the media, however, they did release a statement in January 2023 saying that they “care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children.”
“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” the statement, which was obtained by TMZ, read.
“There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother.
“We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions,” the statement added.
“We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.”