Former Roommate of Idaho Murder Victims Breaks Silence for the First Time to Reveal His Final Text to Friends

Former Roommate of Idaho Murder Victims Breaks Silence for the First Time to Reveal His Final Text to Friends

A former roommate of murdered University of Idaho students has broken her silence for the first time, revealing the moment she realized her friends were dead and the last text she sent them.

Ashlin Couch told KXLY that she moved into the condemned off-campus house on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, in 2020, with her friends Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen.

She moved out in May 2022 and Xana Kernodle took over the lease.

Six months later, in the early hours of November 13, 2022, Goncalves, 21, Mogen, 21, Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death inside of the student hostel.

Two other roommates were in the house at the time, but they were not injured. One of the survivors – Dylan Mortensen – came face to face with the masked killer, dressed head-to-toe in black and with bushy eyebrows, as he left the house following the murders, according to the criminal affidavit.

In an emotional interview, Ms. Couch recalled the moment she received an alert that continues to haunt her.

It was a message from the University of Idaho, alerting her of a suspected murder on King Road – the address she had left a few months earlier.

Ashlin Couch breaks silence on her friends’ murders (KXLY)

She said she sent Mogen one last text message, asking, “Are you okay?”

“I remember, I think, getting a second alert or I was driving home and I was texting like our group of friends, and I had just said, ‘Is anyone heard from Maddie?’ And I remember my last text message to him saying, “Are you okay?” “, she said.

“And I felt in that moment that I kind of knew something was wrong.”

She later learned what had happened to her friends.

Six weeks later, Bryan Kohberger, a doctoral student in criminology at nearby Washington State University, was arrested at the family’s Pennsylvania home and charged with the murders. He is accused of breaking into the house and stabbing the four students to death with a large military-style knife.

Now, more than a year later, Ms. Couch is still traumatized by what happened in what was once her bedroom — and by the idea that she might have been there when it happened. .

“It occurs to me more that this could have happened while I was there,” she said. “And, you know, you never know how long someone is watching your house.”

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed in November 2022. (Instagram)

For months after the murders, she said she was afraid to walk to her car in the dark.

Today, she works to raise awareness and educate students about social media safety.

“I couldn’t even walk to my car in the dark for months after, you know, it happened,” she said. “Like, you just want to feel at least a little bit safer. And if we can help students do that and just make them more aware of this and help them feel a little safer knowing that something like this happened, I think that will be helpful in any way it would be.

Ms Couch said she also wanted to honor her friends. As co-founder of the Made With Kindness Foundation, she helped create the Maddie Kaylee Scholarship Fund to help support the lives of students while spreading kindness and compassion.

“I want to, you know, kind of spread a message and start something, help people, you know, just do something more with this life that we’re grateful to still live,” she explained. “I just wish I could give him one last hug just so I could say goodbye.”

Bryan Kohberger appears in court for hearing in murder case (P.A.)

In May 2023, Mr. Kohberger refused to enter a plea in the case, prompting a judge to enter a not guilty plea.

Idaho prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty against Mr. Kohberger.

In March, the Idaho Supreme Court denied a request by Mr. Kohberger to have his grand jury indictment dismissed.

No trial date has been set.