Steve Goncalves, the father of Idaho murder victim Kaylee Goncalves, said Friday that the news that a suspect had been arrested in the case brought him the first bit of joy that he has had in a while.
It had been more than a month since Kaylee GonCalves, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were murdered in their home on November 13. A SWAT team made the arrest some 2,400 miles from the crime scene in the Pocono Mountains in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
Goncalves made the remarks during an interview on Fox News’s “The Five.”
“To me and my family, it feels like the first joy that we have had in seven days because it really is,” he said. “You can’t even smile when you have this over your head. And it feels like a little bit of weight has been relieved, and things are on the right track, and we’re moving in the right direction.”
“I want to commend those police officers in everything that they have done, because it has been very difficult to work with all the media, especially me being so vocal,” he continued. “I think it’s gotten better. And I really appreciate that they have made some adjustments for our family. And we have noticed those things.”
Goncalves said that the community in Idaho is “real” and that people in that part of the country stick together.
“This is not our new normal. We’re not going to allow this messaging to be our new normal, and we’re going to put our foot down, and we’re going to pull in every resource that we can. We have nothing to hide,” he said. “If we have to pull in forces because we’re close to a location that jurisdictions are there, we’re still going to come together and unify for this. And I really feel like that’s what happened.”
KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, so joining us now on this bittersweet day, the father of Kaylee Goncalves, Steve Goncalves.
Steve, thank you so much for making the time to be with us today.
Just your first reaction to the news that a suspect has been arrested.
STEVE GONCALVES, FATHER OF VICTIM: To me and my family, it feels like the first joy that we have had in seven days, because it really is.
You can’t even smile when you have this over your head. And it feels like a little bit of weight has been relieved, and things are on the right track, and we’re moving in the right direction.
PAVLICH: And was there anything in the press conference that the police just gave this afternoon that was not said to you as a parent in the situation? Did they leave something out that you wish the public knew about?
GONCALVES: You know, I — the whole struggle of communication and everything has gotten better every step of the way.
I want to commend those police officers in everything that they have done, because it has been very difficult to work with all the media, especially me being so vocal.
I think it’s gotten better. And I really appreciate that they have made some adjustments for our family. And we have noticed those things.
LAWRENCE JONES, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Steve, I was telling our colleagues that there has been a different tone from you today, as we got this good news that they did, indeed, catch the suspect.
When we were talking earlier today, one of the things that stuck out to you was, this guy was not from Moscow. He was an outsider.
The community is real in Idaho. And Idaho made a stand. And I wanted to be a part of that to where we said, hey, this is not our new normal. We’re not going to allow this messaging to be our new normal, and we’re going to put our foot down, and we’re going to pull in every resource that we can. We have nothing to hide.
If we have to pull in forces because we’re close to a location that jurisdictions are there, we’re still going to come together and unify for this. And I really feel like that’s what happened.
I mean, there was some forces that pulled us apart, but, in the end, we all, we all — we all came together. And we have a celebration of life today. And we actually have hope that we have somebody in custody that is a person of interest.
And, of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty, but that’s a lot better off than we were 48 hours ago.
JONES: Steve, why was it important today for you to have that memorial service for not only Kaylee, but for Maddie?
With this being the day that it is, why did you guys decide to — you’re going to push through and you’re going to have this service, this celebration of life for your daughters?
GONCALVES: It was important for us to have this person of interest in custody, so they weren’t possibly in that audience, because we made it open.
And we knew, if we made ourselves vulnerable like that, we didn’t want somebody to be taking advantage of that and feeding off that. Or we definitely don’t want to feed somebody who’s a predator to our environment.
So, it’s nice that we have this closure. There’s a lot of prayers going across America.
LISA KENNEDY MONTGOMERY, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: Steve, it’s Kennedy.
Everyone here at FOX, we pray for you. And we hope that God continues to sustain all of your families through this unspeakable tragedy.
I know that you have done so much work, and you have been so vocal, and you have done so much investigation. And I’m just wondering, had you heard the name … before today?
GONCALVES: No, we had not. That’s just completely honest.
Everything was kept under the wraps. The investigation did everything they could to keep this away from the public…
GONCALVES: … to keep the jury untainted, do everything by the book. And I believe they have done an amazing job of that.
JIMMY FAILLA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Steve, it’s Jimmy Failla.
As a parent, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. But one of the things we have found heartening with a tragedy as awful as this is how a tight community like the one in Moscow has been pulled tighter by the love they had for your daughter.
Can you speak to the sense of, I don’t know, maybe relief? Is there some type of emotional upward mobility today, given the capture of this dirtbag?
GONCALVES: Yes, I mean, it is.
It felt like we were all in this together. And I feel like everybody did something that was uncomfortable. They took photos. They submitted information. It took time.
And, in the end, I hope, when the story is all said and told, that we actually do find out that some of these tips and leads from the community were critical. And I would not be surprised if that’s — this is going to be a community-based justice that was exercised in this whole process.
JONES: Steve, brother, you have been so strong. And I’m so glad that they caught this guy before the new year.
Thank you so much for stepping away from the memorial service and spending some time with our audience. Thank you, sir.
GONCALVES: Thank you for sticking with us.
PAVLICH: Thank you, Steve, very much for taking the time. Thank you.