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Idaho murders: Two flatmates who survived stabbing frenzy break their silence

The Independent logo The Independent 12/3/2022 Bevan Hurley
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Two University of Idaho students who survived a quadruple homicide at their Moscow home shared memories of their slain friends in their first public statements since the murders.

Dylan Mortenson and Bethany Funke were asleep on the first floor of their Moscow, Idaho, student rental house when their three roommates Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, and Xana Kernodle, along with Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, were stabbed to death on 13 November.

At a memorial held in Post Falls, Idaho, on Friday, a youth pastor from Real Life Ministries shared a letter written by Ms Mortenson, according to the Idaho Statesman.

She described Kernodle, 20, as the “life of the party”, adding she was “strong, intelligent, hardworking” and beautiful.

Ms Mortenson said she looked up to Chapin, 20, like an older brother, and described in glowing terms the love that the two had for each other.

“To Xana and Ethan – the two best friends but perfect pair together,” Ms Mortenson wrote.

“They had this unstoppable, loving relationship. They’d both look at each other with so much love. Everyone knew they were the perfect duo,” she wrote.

“I know, somewhere, Xana and Ethan are together, keeping each other company, watching us, and telling us it’s okay and that we have each other.”

Slain University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle (GoFundme) © Provided by The Independent Slain University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle (GoFundme) Madison Mogen, left, and Kaylee Goncalves were among the four University of Idaho homicide victims (Kaylee Goncalves / Instagram) © Provided by The Independent Madison Mogen, left, and Kaylee Goncalves were among the four University of Idaho homicide victims (Kaylee Goncalves / Instagram)

Best friends Mogen and Goncalves, both 21, were an “inseparable duo”, Ms Mortenson added.

“They changed the way I look at life and how to enjoy life to the fullest,” she wrote.

In a letter read out to the memorial, Ms Funke described Mogen as her “big” in the Pi Beta Phi sorority both belonged to.

“You always told me that everything happens for a reason, but I’m having a really hard time trying to understand the reason for this,” she wrote of Mogen.

“I wish every day that I could give them all one last hug and say how much I loved them,” Ms Funke added.

The two flatmates have largely remained out of the spotlight over the past three weeks.

The parents of Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle also spoke at the memorial service.

Police in Moscow are yet to identify a suspect in the four homicides. They have described the slayings as a “targeted, isolated” attack.

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