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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

Roommate of University of Idaho Murder Victims Changed Schools While Dealing with Survivor's Guilt, Stepmom Says

“People have to understand that these children are very young. ... You know, they’re just young kids, and it’s just a really traumatizing thing," Patricia Munroe said of her stepdaughter Dylan Mortensen, who survived the Idaho massacre last November. 

By Elisabeth Ford
Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves

The stepmother of the University of Idaho murders survivor Dylan Mortensen has spoken out, saying that her stepdaughter is doing “okay” since she encountered a man creeping through her hallway on the night four of her classmates were brutally killed.

Patricia Munroe, 53, told the New York Post that Mortensen is struggling with survivor’s guilt after Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death on Nov. 13, 2022 at their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho.

“There’s a lot of guilt because, you know, if someone says, ‘Oh, well, Dylan was so lucky,’ you know, you don’t want to take on that luck — because all of the children deserved luck. They all deserved to be spared from that,” Munroe told the Post.

Since the deaths of her roommates, Mortensen has changed schools, according to her stepmother, who declined to identify the new university.

Dylan Mortensen’s Close Call with the University of Idaho Killer

Mortensen told police that on the night of the killings, she heard crying coming from Kernodle’s room and a male voice saying something along the lines of “It’s ok, I’m going to help you,” according to the affidavit previously obtained by Oxygen.com.

When she opened her bedroom door to investigate, Mortensen said she saw a male figure roughly 5’ 10” tall and “clad in black clothing.” She described his face as having “bushy eyebrows” and a black mask covering his mouth and nose.

The Idaho student told police that she stood in a “frozen shock state” as he passed by, escaping through the back sliding glass doors. She then locked herself in her room for the night.

Four University of Idaho students were found dead Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022

Dylan Mortensen Became Victim to Dogpiling on Social Media

Mortensen and her fellow surviving roommate, Bethany Funke, did not call 911 until sometime around noon the following day, a fact in the case that sparked criticism of the two survivors.

“You never really think about online backlash and trolls until you deal with it, and it’s just a really hurtful thing,” Munroe said.

Her stepdaughter has been subjected to a myriad of public scrutiny since the release of the affidavit, including accusations of being a murderer and a drug dealer, according to the Post.

“I challenge anyone to be in a position where they wake up to four of their roommates gone and, you know, not even realizing it,” Munroe added. “People have to understand that these children are very young. ... You know, they’re just young kids, and it’s just a really traumatizing thing. I just think that people need to have compassion.”

Bryan Kohberger Named Suspected Killer of Idaho Students

Monday marked one year since the brutal attack on the four Idaho students.

Police arrested and charged 28-year-old Pennsylvanian Bryan Kohberger with four counts of murder and one count felony burglary in December 2022. He is accused of stabbing the students to death as they slept in their off-campus residence.

Kohberger was a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, studying criminology.

Bryan Kohberger

A Latah County Judge recently rejected the defense’s motion to dismiss Kohberger’s indictment on the grounds of “error in grand jury instructions.”

A date for the high-profile murder trial has yet to be scheduled.