Published13 hours ago
The two roommates of Idaho students found brutally murdered in their beds have broken their silence for the first time, saying that their four fallen friends were “all one of a kind”.
Their housemates were found stabbed to death on 13 November – a case that has gripped the US and attracted legions of true crime amateur detectives.
No arrests have yet been made and no suspects identified by police.
Police have cleared the pair of any involvement.
The four victims were Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20, and 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen.
The University of Idaho students were found dead at their off-campus rental home in the small college town of Moscow, about 80 miles (130km) south of Spokane, Washington.
Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, who shared the home with Ms Kernodle, Ms Goncalves and Ms Mogen, returned home around 01:00 local time the night of the attack and were sleeping at the time of the murders, police have determined. They were both unharmed.
In a letter read at a 2 December vigil for the victims, Ms Mortensen said that her life “was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people”.
“I know it will be hard to not have the four of them in our lives, but I know Xana, Ethan, Maddie and Kaylee would want us to live life and be happy, and they would want us to celebrate their lives,” she said.
Separately, Ms Funke described her late friends in a letter as “gifts to this world in your own special way and it just won’t be the same without you”.
Police believe all four were killed with a fixed-blade knife, which has yet to be recovered despite an exhaustive search.
According to the latest update from the Moscow Police Department, investigators have received more than 2,600 emails with tips, more than 2,700 calls and 1,000 “digital media submissions” from the public to date.
Police have also had to repeatedly address a number of unsubstantiated claims about the case, which has drawn the interest of amateur online detectives.
Officials have also publicly reversed course on aspects of the case, including about what they meant when they called the attack “targeted”, leading to frustration from families of the victims.
Police ultimately released a statement attempting to clarify some of the confusion, saying they do believe it was a targeted attack, but are unsure “if the target was the residence or its occupants”.