According to court records revealed on Thursday, one of the two roommates who survived the violent assault that left four students dead at the University of Idaho told authorities that she saw a masked guy leaving her residence after the victims were fatally stabbed. The police investigation that followed the killings in November, which shook the college town in northern Idaho where they occurred and have since captured the attention of people around the country, is described in the affidavit made by Moscow, Idaho Police Cpl. Brett Payne.
The court records were made public on Thursday, just before 28-year-old criminology student Bryan Kohberger was scheduled to make his first court appearance in Idaho since being detained at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania on December 30. Kohberger was arrested in connection with the homicide case. Kohberger’s DNA was allegedly discovered on a knife sheath at the crime site, according to the affidavit.
Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, a classmate and Kernodle’s boyfriend, were killed by stabbings at the women’s rented home early on Nov. 13 at the University of Idaho. It had been over seven weeks since their deaths.
The residence, which is close to the university’s campus in Moscow and where Mogen, Goncalves, and Kernodle lived with two more roommates, both of whom were there during the killings, was where Mogen, Goncalves, and Kernodle were discovered dead. It states that authorities believe the homicides most likely occurred between 4 and 4:25 a.m. based on numerous mobile phone records, a DoorDash delivery ticket, and video retrieved from a security camera next door.
The two surviving roommates, identified in the affidavit as B. Funke and D. Mortensen and abbreviated as B.F. and D.M., slept in bedrooms on the first and second floors of the rental house. According to investigators, Kernodle’s bedroom was on the second level, while Goncalves and Mogen shared two rooms on the third and top floor. Both Goncalves and Mogen, as well as the dog she shared with her ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur, were discovered in Goncalves’ bedroom.
Mortensen, who also slept on the second floor, eventually admitted to opening her door three times after waking up at around 4 a.m. in an interview with police. According to the affidavit, the woman was listening to what she believed to be Goncalves playing with her dog in one of the upstairs bedrooms on the third level.
The affidavit states that D.M. reported hearing Goncalves remark something to the effect of “there’s someone here” shortly after that. Although records from a forensic download of Kernodle’s cell phone “showed she was likely awake and using the TikTok app at roughly 4:12 a.m.,” authorities noted that it might have been Kernodle’s voice.
When Mortensen first peeked out of her bedroom after hearing the voice, she “did not see anything,” according to her statement to the police. The affidavit states that Mortensen heard a man’s voice say “something to the effect of ‘it’s ok, I’m going to help you'” when she opened her door a second time after hearing what she thought was “sobbing coming from Kernodle’s room.”
According to the document from the investigators, Mortensen claimed that she heard weeping again later and opened her door a third time. Mortensen described the assailant as a man, standing at either 5 feet 10 inches or taller, who was “not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows” when she looked out and told police that she “saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her.”
The roommate reported to police that the man walked past her while she was stopped in astonishment at the bedroom doorway and then left the house through a sliding glass door at the back entry. When Mortensen saw the man with the mask, she reportedly locked herself in her room and dialled 911.
According to their affidavit, “this leads detectives to think that the murderer fled the scene.”
Detectives were examining the crime scene when they discovered a footprint in the shape of a diamond, maybe left by a Vans sneaker, next to Mortensen’s bedroom door. They claimed the finding supported her interview remarks about his movement through the house and out the rear door.