Idaho college killings: Roommates of slain students break their silence

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(NewsNation) — Weeks after the Nov. 13 killings of four college students in a rental home near the University of Idaho, two surviving roommates have made statements.

The police have said they won’t put out any more information unless it is completely vetted and won’t harm the ongoing investigation.

But that silence has been deafening for the victims’ families, who are desperate for any new development that could crack the case.

Meanwhile, the two roommates, who were also in the house at the time of the killings, have broken their silence.

Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen wrote heartfelt statements about their friends that a youth pastor read publicly.

Mortensen wrote, “I know somewhere Xana and Ethan are together, keeping each other company, watching us and telling us, ‘It’s OK and that we have each other.’ Maddie and Kaylee, the inseparable duo, the two best friends that were like sisters.”

Funke said she wishes she could give each of her roommates “one last hug” and be able to tell them she “loved them.”

“You always told me that everything happens for a reason,” Funke wrote. “But I’m having a really hard time trying to understand the reason for this.”

Mortensen and Funke were sleeping on the first floor of their rental home when their three roommates, 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, and Kernodle’s 20-year-old boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were stabbed to death.

Over the weekend, investigators re-entered the crime scene. Through a window, they could be seen handling evidence markers. Later, they left the home carrying large brown paper bags.

Detectives have sorted through nearly 3,000 tips and pored over 4,000 crime scene photos, trying to make sense of the information they have. However, there are still no suspects and no persons of interest.

In an interview with Newsnation’s Brian Entin, the family of Goncalves said it feels as though the police rushed to clear names from their suspect list.

“I just feel like there were a couple of individuals who were cleared very fast that maybe should not have been,” said Kaylee Goncalves’ mother, Kristi.

The police on Saturday dispelled circulating rumors of potential suspects, including the two surviving roommates, a man caught on camera close to the girls that night at a food truck, a rideshare driver and an ex-boyfriend.

Victims’ families have said the issue they have is that the police have not shared the alibis of the people they’ve cleared as suspects, leaving the families to wonder and speculate on whether enough due diligence has been put forward in the investigation.

NewsNation has been covering this story from the beginning and continued its investigation in a special hour on Sunday. National correspondent Brian Entin hosted “Special Report: Idaho Murder Mystery.” Here’s how you can watch.

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