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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Sally Krutzig

Inside the crime scene: Documents reveal information on house where Idaho students were killed

BOISE, Idaho — At 1122 King Road in Moscow sits the gray six-bedroom, three-bathroom house that continues to be the source of significant national attention.

Someone walking by on Nov. 12 would have seen a lumpy couch on the back porch, trendy garden lights strung across the rear balcony and a pair of pink cowboy boots in one window — telltale signs that this house, like many in the area, was a student rental.

The most recent leaseholders were six University of Idaho undergraduates who signed a 12-month contract that began June 5, according to the property management firm that oversees the home.

Three of those renters would not live to see the end of their lease. And by Nov. 13, 1122 King Road would be surrounded by yellow crime scene tape.

The tenants were Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen, as well as an unnamed sixth person on the lease who no longer lived there.

In the early morning hours that Sunday, Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were stabbed to death in the house.

Following a 911 call made from the cellphone of one of the two surviving roommates at around noon, law enforcement arrived, marking the start of an investigation that would go on for nearly seven weeks before an arrest was made.

More than 2,500 miles away in a much smaller rural town — Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, population 211 — is another house. White with red shutters, it sits tucked into the rolling Pocono Mountains made famous for the escape they provide East Coast city-dwellers.

This house, too, saw a swarm of law enforcement when police came to arrest 28-year-old Washington State University graduate student Bryan Kohberger on Dec. 30.

Following Kohberger’s extradition to Idaho, police filed a 19-page affidavit that provided new details about what they think happened inside the house on King Road, and what was found.

The Idaho Statesman has used the affidavit to update its previous reporting on the house, which was based on photos from rental listings and documents submitted by former owners to the city of Moscow. Depictions of the floors and dimensions are approximations created by the Statesman based on that information.

Greek members rent out home

Just north of the home is the university’s new Greek Row, where many fraternity and sorority activities take place. That proximity meant the area was particularly popular among those involved in U of I Greek life, including sorority members Goncalves, Kernodle and Mogen.

“It’s a tight-knit community,” Merida McClanahan, supervisor at Team Idaho Real Estate & Property Management, told the Statesman in a phone interview. “They’re on the back side of campus right across the street from Greek Row, and those kids cycle in and out.”

The King Road home’s six bedrooms had at one time been rented as separate apartments, McClanahan said.

“Primarily for the last 12 years, it has been rented as one unit as a single-family home,” she said.

The house originally had two floors, but an owner requested to add the lowest floor in 2000, according to Moscow city permits. Built into a hillside, the house has one exterior door on each floor.

The home is 3,120 square feet, according to Zillow. The Latah County Assessor’s Office assessed its value at $343,848 in August.

The listed owner of the King Road property didn’t return email and phone messages from the Statesman.

The first floor: One survivor was here

City records and photos from online rental listings indicate the first floor has two bedrooms that open into a shared hallway. The hallway also leads to a bathroom and a stairway that goes to the second floor.

All five tenants, plus Chapin, were home by 2 the morning of the killings, and everyone was in their bedrooms by 4 a.m., according to statements to police by surviving roommates Funke and Mortensen. Police believe the Nov. 13 attack took place between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m.

The Idaho Statesman previously reported that both surviving roommates had been on the first floor at the time of the attack after a Moscow Police Department spokesperson provided that information in an email on Nov. 21.

Contrary to that police statement, the affidavit revealed that Funke was the only roommate with a bedroom on the first floor. Her room was on the east side of the building.

Based on the affidavit, it appears no one slept in the first-floor bedroom on the west side that night. The sixth person who was on the lease moved out prior to the start of the semester, police said.

Police included no statement in the affidavit that indicated Funke saw or heard anything at the time of the attack.

Former first-floor tenant Ryan Augusta told Fox News that he typically “heard nothing” from the second and third floors when he lived there in 2019. Reached by the Statesman, Augusta said he stood by that statement.

Attempts by the Statesman to reach Funke and Mortensen have been unsuccessful.

Between the first-floor bedrooms, a door opens to the property’s driveway. Despite the home’s King Road mailing address, the driveway connects directly to Queen Road.

On Nov. 13, starting at 3:29 a.m., a camera captured a white Hyundai Elantra — the same type of car owned by Kohberger — driving past the house several times, according to the affidavit. As it neared the area a fourth time, at 4:04 a.m., the vehicle could be seen going past the house before stopping in front of a neighboring building, turning around and driving back toward the house. The camera shows it again at about 4:20 a.m., driving away from the house.

The second floor: Two victims, one survivor

The second floor of the home includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and two separate staircases — one that leads to the first floor and one to the third floor.

This floor can be accessed from the outside through a sliding-glass door connecting the porch and kitchen.

Kernodle’s bedroom was on the west side of the second floor. Chapin’s mother, Stacy Chapin, previously confirmed to the Statesman that her son spent the night at his girlfriend’s house, and Kernodle’s father, Jeffrey Kernodle, told an Arizona TV station in an interview in November that his daughter and Chapin had been dating for about a year.

Mortensen’s bedroom, on the southeast side, was also on this floor. The affidavit provided new details about what Mortensen told police:

On the night of the attack, Mortensen said she was awakened at about 4 a.m. by what “sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog in one of the upstairs bedrooms.”

Shortly after, she thought someone, maybe Goncalves, said “something to the effect of ‘there’s someone here.’” Kernodle was still awake and using TikTok at 4:12 a.m., according to phone records cited in the affidavit. For this reason, police believe Kernodle could have been the person Mortensen heard.

The comment caused Mortensen to open her bedroom door to look out, but she did not see anyone.

Mortensen thought she heard crying from Kernodle’s room and a male voice say something to the effect of, “It’s OK, I’m going to help you.” She opened her bedroom door a second time.

At 4:17 a.m., a neighbor’s security camera, located less than 50 feet from Kernodle’s bedroom, “picked up distorted audio of what sounded like voices or a whimper followed by a loud thud,” and the sound of a dog barking.

Opening her door a third time, Mortensen said, she saw a male figure walking toward her dressed in black clothing and a mask that covered his mouth and nose. She didn’t recognize him, but estimated him to be at least 5 feet, 10 inches tall, “not very muscular” and “athletically built with bushy eyebrows.” Mortensen told police that she stood in a “frozen shock phase” as he walked past her and headed toward the sliding glass door to the backyard, according to the affidavit.

She then locked herself in her bedroom, Mortensen said.

Investigators later found a shoe print that they say may have been left by the intruder just outside Mortensen’s bedroom door.

Police found the bodies of Kernodle and Chapin in either Kernodle’s bedroom or the second-floor bathroom. The affidavit is unclear, simply referring to “the room” where they were found.

“Just before this room there was a bathroom door on the south wall of the hallway,” the affidavit stated. “As I approached the room, I could see a body, later identified as Kernodle’s, laying on the floor.”

The third floor: Two victims

The third floor of the home includes a bathroom and two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has a sliding-glass door that opens onto a balcony. Because the balcony doesn’t connect to the ground, the only traditional way to reach the third floor is from the staircase on the second floor.

Close friends since childhood, Goncalves and Mogen lived on the third floor — the former’s room on the west side and the latter’s in the southeast corner, according to the affidavit.

Police found both of their bodies in Mogen’s bed.

On the bed next to Mogen’s right side, officers also found a tan leather knife sheath stamped with the inscriptions “Ka-Bar” and “USMC,” for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Investigators said they found DNA on the button of the sheath that eventually helped lead to Kohberger’s arrest. The sheath DNA was compared to trash recovered from the Kohberger’s family’s residence in Albrightsville by Pennsylvania agents. The evidence was sent to the Idaho State Lab, and results came back with a high likelihood — more than 99% — that the DNA in the trash belonged to the biological father of the person whose DNA was found on the sheath, according to the affidavit.

Police found Goncalves’ dog, a golden doodle named Murphy, in Goncalves’ room.


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