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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

'They Changed The Way I Look At Life': Roommates Of Idaho Stabbing Victims Offer First Public Words

Roommates Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen provided letters that were read out loud at a church vigil for murder victims Maddie Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. Mogen's boyfriend, Jake Schriger, spoke at the event.

By Megan Carpentier
Four University Of Idaho Students Fatally Stabbed In 'Targeted' Attack

The two roommates who survived the brutal stabbing attack on four University of Idaho students in November released public statements at a vigil for their slain friends on Friday, while the boyfriend of one of the victims spoke.

Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen, who were sleeping on the first floor of the Moscow, Idaho home when the attack occurred, provided letters that were read out loud during a church vigil in Post Falls, NBC News reported. The church service was considered a celebration of the lives of Maddie Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, the Idaho Statesman reported. Kernodle had grown up in Post Falls.

Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle were residents at the home where Chapin, Kernodle's boyfriend, was spending the night when all four were stabbed to death in their beds on Nov. 13. Funke and Mortensen, who had not previously been identified, were asleep on the first floor and were among the students who called the police concerned that they couldn't wake Mogen and Goncalves that morning.

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Jake Schriger, Mogen's boyfriend, also made his first public statement at the Friday event.

“She was the first person I talked to every morning and the last person I talked to before bed,” Schriger said, according to the paper. “She was the person that I loved most.”

Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen

Mogen's father had mentioned Schriger by name while speaking at an on-campus vigil on Wednesday, the Statesman reported.

"I’m so glad that she got to just have at least a little taste of what it’s like to be in love with someone,” Ben Mogen said. “I was really proud to call him my daughter’s boyfriend and maybe some day they would have gotten married. It seemed like it at least.”

The letters from Funke and Mortensen were read by a youth pastor at Real Life Ministries, the paper reported.

“You always told me that everything happens for a reason,” Funke wrote of Mogen, who was her "big" in the Pi Beta Phi sorority. “But I’m having a really hard time trying to understand the reason for this.”

"They changed the way I look at life,” Mortensen wrote of her four murdered friends, according to the Statesman. 

"My life was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people, my people who changed my life in so many ways and made me so happy," she added, according to NBC News.

Kaylee Goncalves’ siblings and her parents, Steve and Kristi Goncalves, Mogen’s father, Ben Mogen, and Kernodle’s father, Jeffrey Kernodle, also spoke at the event. Chapin's family members, who held a funeral for him in his native Mount Vernon, Washington and spoke at the Wednesday vigil on campus, were not in attendance.

Steve Goncalves, who revealed at the Wednesday vigil that his daughter and Mogen had fallen asleep in the same bed the night they died according to the Statesman, gave an interview to Fox News on Saturday in which he revealed further details of the murders.

Goncalves claimed to have been told that his daughter's injuries were "significantly more brutal" than Mogen's, even though they were killed in the same bed. He also stated that Kernodle and Chapin were asleep on the second floor of the house when they were killed, and that police are speculating the killer entered the home through a sliding glass door on that floor, rather than via the front door on the first floor, where Funke and Mortensen were asleep.

Goncalves and Mogen were asleep on the third floor, he told the station.

Police said on Saturday that they had no leads on the killer or motive. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.