- Four University of Idaho students were killed in an off-campus house over the weekend.
- Police have not identified a suspect and said the four deaths were ruled as homicides.
- The four victims were remembered by friends and family as “angels” and “so sweet.”
Four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in an off-campus house over the weekend, and police have said they believe that the four friends were killed by someone who remains on the loose.
The victims have been identified as Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
Police discovered the four students’ bodies at a house about one mile outside the university’s Moscow, Idaho, campus while responding to a 911 call about an “unconscious” person. It remains unclear who called 911, and police have not publicly named a suspect in the students’ killings.
In the days since the killings, friends and family have remembered the victims as “angels” and “so sweet.”
Ethan Chapin “lit up every room he walked into”
Chapin, from Conway, Washington, was a triplet who attended the University of Idaho alongside his brother and sister, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Chapin was dating Kernodle, who lived at the house where the killings happened with Mogen, Goncalves, and other students. One night of the attack, Chapin was sleeping over at the house with Kernodle, the Statesman reported.
He was a recreation, sport, and tourism management major and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity on campus. The Greek Chapter started a GoFundMe page in Chapin’s honor, saying, “we collectively extend our sincerest condolences and our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the families of our dear brother Ethan.”
“It is an unspeakable tragedy and the pain is excruciating,” his mom, Stacy Chapin, told the Statesman in a statement. “Ethan was literally the greatest kid and his smile would light up every room! More importantly, he was a triplet and his brother and sister need all of the strength and prayers possible because they were best friends.”
Chapin’s father, speaking with Fox News, expressed his disappointment over the “lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police, which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media.”
Chapin “lit up every room he walked into and was a kind, loyal, loving son, brother, cousin, and friend,” Stacy Chapin told Fox.
“Words cannot express the heartache and devastation our family is experiencing. It breaks my heart to know we will never be able to hug or laugh with Ethan again, but it’s also excruciating to think about the horrific way he was taken from us,” she said.
Xana Kernodle could “fill any room with laughter”
Kernodle, a junior from Post Falls, Idaho, was a marketing major and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.
Her “very close friend,” Maya Hippenstiel, started a GoFundMe in honor of Kernodle “to at least take some stress off of her families [sic] plate.” Hippenstiel said that all proceeds of the GoFundMe will go directly to Kernodle’s father to pay for the funeral and other costs.
“If you knew Xan you know this is more than just a loss,” Hippenstiel wrote. “I know it applies to me but waking up and realizing it’s a day Xana won’t be in – is unbearable.”
She added that “heaven gained 4 angels in the most unfortunate circumstances.”
Hippenstiel told the Statesman she has known Kernodle for four years and that she was “the life of every party in more ways than one.”
She could “fill any room with light and laughter,” Hippenstiel told the Statesman. “She was kind and loving as well as compassionate. She was extremely driven, and her serious side became apparent when she talked about her goals. Everyone loved her, and I seriously mean everyone.”
Madison Mogen planned to move to Boise after graduation
Mogen was a senior marketing major from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and planned to take her talents to Boise after she graduated in the spring.
She was known to her friends as “Maddie” and loved the color pink, the Statesman reported. Friends said she and Goncalves were best friends.
“They were inseparable,” Jessie Frost, who created a GoFundMe account to support Mogen’s and Goncalves’ families, told the Statesman. “Best friends in grade school throughout high school and now college. These girls were good girls, [who] didn’t do drugs or bad things.”
Mogen, along with Kernodle, worked at the local restaurant Mad Greek. In a Tuesday Facebook post, the restaurant said the two girls, who had been working there for several years “brought so much joy to our restaurant and all of those they encountered.” The restaurant said that Mogen ran its social media.
Kaylee Goncalves was “a fighter through and through”
Goncalves, a senior general studies major from Rathdrum, Idaho, was described by her sister as “a fighter through and through,” the Statesman reported.
A former coworker, whom she worked with at Panera Bread, told the Statesman that they shared shifts the summer after he came out as gay and said she helped to cultivate a safe environment for him after someone at the store made rude remarks to him.
Another former coworker told the Statesman that Goncalves once helped her turn “what was a stressful shift into a really fun time. And at the end of it all, she wouldn’t even let me share my tips with her. She was so selfless and kind.”
“God just received more angels in Maddie May and Kaylee,” the GoFundMe for Mogen’s and Goncalves’ families said. “Fly high and be free you beautiful souls. Our hearts are so broken with the tragedy and loss of the U of I students. These amazing girls were so kind, so sweet, so loving to all.”