Mother of Idaho murder victim writes a poignant tribute as siblings return to college following Bryan Kohberger’s arrest

The mother of one of the four University of Idaho students killed in November wrote a touching piece in memory of her son.

Ethan Chapin’s mother, Stacy Wells Chapin, remembered her son as a loving and carefree young man who touched countless lives before he was brutally murdered on November 13. Chapin’s girlfriend Xana Kernodle and roommates Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were also killed in the attack.

The Moscow Police Department, Idaho State Police, and the FBI conducted the criminal investigation that eventually led to the arrest of Washington State University criminal justice doctoral student Bryan Kohberger in Pennsylvania on December 30. An affidavit of Mr. Kohberger’s arrest, released last week after his extradition to Idaho, revealed that law enforcement had found his DNA in a knife sheath left next to one of the victim’s bodies.

On Wednesday, Ms. Chapin announced that the two surviving triplets had returned to Moscow. She said she hopes they can focus on their goals after experiencing the unimaginable tragedy, and thanked law enforcement for their diligent work to support her family in the wake of the murders.

“We successfully dropped them off at the University of Idaho yesterday. Hunter was so happy to be back in the fraternity and Maizie was warming up to the idea, but it was so good to hear all the girls squeal with delight at the sight of him,” Ms. Chapin wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

She added: “It’s good to hear this mom’s heart!! The support of the University of Idaho and MPD/ISP has been profound. Maizie and Hunter are rock stars and we can’t be more proud of them. It’s just their business now.” [to] Being a kid Start where they left off. Keep goals and aspirations in mind.”

Ethan Chapin's siblings returned to the University of Idaho after Bryan Kohberger's arrest.

Ethan Chapin’s siblings returned to the University of Idaho after Bryan Kohberger’s arrest.

The grieving mother continued to fondly remember her son’s “unshakable foundation.”

“He loved unconditionally, he was loyal to everyone, he was inclusive, he was carefree, he was happy, he was the best person you could ever meet. The stories are endless and amazing. He touched lives we didn’t know existed. Ethan was incredible,” he said.

An affidavit released on 5 January states that investigators believe Mr. Kohberger had followed the victims’ homes at least 12 times before the massacre.

Cell phone records show her phone rang at least 12 times at her King Road home before the murder was committed. The exact dates of these events were not disclosed in the documents, but all but one took place late in the evening or early in the morning.

An incident was identified on 21 August in which the suspect was stopped by the police just minutes from the house.

An excerpt from the Latah County Sheriff’s Office, Independentreveals that the traffic took place at the intersection of West Pullman Road and Farm Road in Moscow around 11:40 PM.

Records show he was stopped for not wearing his seat belt – just a short drive from the home on King Road where the victims were killed.

Investigators believe that Mr. Kohberger turned off his cell phone to avoid detection during the murders.

However, cell phone data places him close to his home on King Road at around 9:00 am on November 13 – suggesting that the suspect returned to the scene at around 4 am, just hours after allegedly killing the four victims.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, took this photo together hours before she died (Instagram/Kaylee Goncalves)

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, took this photo together hours before she died (Instagram/Kaylee Goncalves)

The affidavit reveals that a white Hyundai Elantra seen at the scene during the murders was also traced to the suspect.

Both roommates were in the student residence at the time of the murders, but were left unharmed.

About eight hours after the murders, which police believe occurred between 4 and 4:25 a.m., the gruesome scene was not discovered.

It was around noon when a 911 call was finally made to report an unconscious person inside the house. Police teams arrived at the bloody scene.

The affidavit has now revealed for the first time that one of his surviving roommates came face-to-face with the masked killer as he left the house after killing four of his friends.

The roommate, identified as DM in the documents, explained in his horrifying statement to investigators that he heard the murderer inside the house and heard crying from one of his roommates.

At one point he heard a female voice – believed to be Goncalves or Kernodle – saying something similar to the “someone here” effect, followed by a male voice saying “it’s okay, I’ll help you”.

Mr Kohberger is charged with the murders

Mr Kohberger is charged with the murders

When he later opened the door to see what had happened, he was fortunately spared to see “a figure dressed in black and with a mask covering the person’s mouth and nose walking towards him”.

The man with the bushy eyebrows, about 1.70 meters tall, walked right past him as he stood in a “frozen shock phase” and headed for the back sliding glass door of the house.

Mr. Kohberger, who will face life imprisonment or the death penalty if convicted, is scheduled to appear for the case hearing next Thursday morning.

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