Surviving roommates of slain Idaho students break their silence




  • In US
  • 2022-12-05 15:21:52Z
  • By TODAY
 

The two other roommates who were home at the time four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds have offered their first public words since the brutal attacks occurred three weeks ago.

A local pastor from Real Life Ministries read letters from Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke during a prayer vigil on Dec. 2 that expressed their feelings on the loss of Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20.

"My life was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people, by people who changed my life in so many ways and made me so happy," Mortensen wrote.

"They all lit up any room they walked into and were gifts to this world," Funke wrote.

The letters also shared their specific memories of each of the students, with Mortensen writing that the four "would want us to live life and be happy, and they would want us to celebrate their lives."

Mortensen and Funke were both in the off-campus home near the University of Idaho at the time of the attack on Nov. 13 but were unhurt. The two young women are not considered suspects in the crime, the Moscow Police Department said.

Authorities are now entering their fourth week of investigating the crime, wading through more than 2,600 emails and thousands of tips called into a tip line. They recently clarified that the attacker may have targeted the house, and not a specific victim.

"We're putting the pieces together, and I think when that picture is done, I think we'll have a real clear definition of what occurred and where to go," Idaho State Police communications director Aaron Snell told NBC News correspondent Morgan Chesky last week.

Goncalves' father, Steve Goncalves, said he believed the investigation was moving too slowly. He recently shared information that the police have not released.

"Their means of death don't match," he said on Fox News. "Their points of damage don't match."

Criminologist Casey Jordan told NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk on TODAY on Dec. 5 that the comments by Steve Goncalves "would seem to indicate that one of the girls suffered different kinds of stab wounds."

"These are the kinds of things that would be distinctive and indicate and perhaps substantiate the belief by the police that it was a targeted attack," Jordan continued.

Only one-third of the students at the University of Idaho returned to school after Thanksgiving break while the killer remains at large.

"People are really on eggshells," Jordan said. "Should I be leaving the community? Is there a madman on the loose?"

Authorities have not released full autopsy results of the victims, which could include DNA testing, and there was no clear timeline yet of when the release will occur.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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