‘Unimaginable’ loss: Memorial held for 1 of 4 Idaho victims


The family of University of Idaho murder victim Ethan Chapin addresses reporters outside his funeral service in Mt. Vernon, Washington. | Facebook photo

MOUNT VERNON, Washington (AP) — Friends and family gathered Monday to remember one of the four University of Idaho students stabbed to death in their home early Nov. 13, as police in the college town of Moscow have yet to identify a suspect in the slayings.

The memorial service for Ethan Chapin was held in Mount Vernon, Washington, a city on Puget Sound north of Seattle.

“We want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of Ethan’s life,” his family wrote in a program for the memorial. “It is an incredible testimony to his character just how many lives he has touched in his short 20 years. The loss is unimaginable but our family will persevere.”

Chapin, 20, was a triplet, and is survived by his parents and his siblings Maizie and Hunter. He attended Mount Vernon High School, where he played basketball. All three triplets enrolled in the University of Idaho last August.

“Since attending the University of Idaho, Ethan lived his best life,” according to his obituary. “He loved the social life, intramurals and tolerated the academics. He also continued to play sports.”

“If he wasn’t on the golf course or working, you could usually find him surfing, playing sand volleyball or pickle ball,” the obituary said.

On Sunday, law enforcement officers investigating the deaths asked for patience after a week passed with no arrests.

Authorities said they have no suspect or weapon in the killings, which shook Moscow, a town of 25,000 residents in the Idaho Panhandle that had not recorded a homicide in about five years.

Students and residents have expressed concern about a lack of details from police, who initially said there was no danger to the public but a few days later acknowledged they couldn’t say there was no threat.

“We know that people want answers — we want answers, too,” Idaho State Police Col. Kedrick Wills said. “Please be patient as we work through this investigation.”

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said authorities have received nearly 650 tips and conducted 90 interviews. Police have also requested businesses and residences in specific parts of the city to share with them footage recorded between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the day of the killings.

The university is in recess this week for Thanksgiving.

The victims were Chapin; seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; and junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho. The women were roommates, and Chapin was dating Kernodle.

Authorities on Sunday said they were each stabbed multiple times, and that some had defensive wounds.

Police said two other roommates who were in the house on the night of the killings slept through the attack, waking later that day. Police said one of their phones was used to call 911 from inside the residence at 11:58 a.m. Police on Sunday declined to say who made the 911 call.

Police have said evidence leads them to believe the students were targeted, although they haven’t given details and declined to do so again on Sunday. Investigators say nothing appears to have been stolen from the victims or the home. Police have said there was no sign of forced entry, and first responders found a door open when they arrived.

Dozens of additional law enforcement officers have arrived in Moscow, officials said.

The Moscow Police Department said four detectives, five support staff and 24 patrol officers are working on the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has 22 investigators helping in Moscow, and 20 more agents assisting from outside the area. The Idaho State Police has supplied 20 investigators, 15 troopers for patrols and its mobile crime scene team.



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