close
close

Ashlin Couch, Former University of Idaho Roommate, Murder Victim, Breaks Silence

A former roommate of murdered University of Idaho students broke her silence Tuesday to mark 18 months since the bloodshed — and revealed the last message she sent to her late friend.

“Do you agree?” Ashlin Couch texted Madison Mogen immediately after receiving an alert from her alma mater that there had been a homicide on the same road as her old college house, she told KXLY -TV, based in Spokane.

Couch lived at 122 King Road in Moscow with Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, until she graduated and moved out in May 2022, handing over the remainder of her lease – and her old room – to Xana Kernodle, 20 years old.

Ashlin Couch “knew something was wrong” when she was told there was a homicide at her old university. KXLY

The three girls and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, were massacred in their upstairs bedrooms around 4 a.m. on November 16, 2022 after spending a night on the town.

The next day, the university sent a text alert to its community informing them of a suspected homicide on King Road, sparking an inexplicable feeling of worry in Couch’s heart.

“I remember I thought I got a second alert or I was driving home and I texted our group of friends and I had just said, ‘Has anyone had any news from Maddie?’ Couch told the outlet while holding back tears.

That’s when Couch rushed to send Mogen a message herself – a message that would never be returned.

Kaylee Goncalves, top left; Xana Kernodle, top right; Ethan Chapin, bottom left; and Madison Mogen, bottom right, were butchered in their beds after a night on the town. ZUMAPRESS.com

“I feel like at that moment I kind of knew something was wrong.”

Mogen and Goncalves – who Couch said were “like sisters” – were in the same bed when they were stabbed to death by alleged killer Bryan Kohberger.

Kernodle and Chapin were massacred in the bedroom across the hall – the one Couch had lived in six months earlier.

His name was even still on the lease.

Couch had lived in the Moscow house six months earlier, but had signed over his lease and room to Kernodle. James Keivom

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

This terrifying thought caused Couch to panic during the two weeks his friends’ killer was in the air – and even lasted after Kohberger was handcuffed for the crime.

“I couldn’t even walk to my car in the dark for months after it happened, like you just want to at least feel a little safer,” Couch said.

Her grief inspired her to start a new foundation in honor of her friends, which focuses on raising awareness and educating students about social media safety.

Bryan Kohberger says he was driving alone for 40 minutes when the killings happened. Getty Images

The Made with Kindness Foundation is working to teach students how to stay safe from home, especially because the actions of others are beyond our control.

“Horrible people are going to do what they’re going to do. It’s not something they could have done. They did absolutely nothing wrong,” Couch said.

Despite her best efforts, the grieving friend’s work did little to fill the missing hole in her heart that her friends left behind.

“You wish you could just say goodbye.” And that’s one thing I wish I could do at least one more time: give (Mogen) one last hug just so I can say goodbye,” Couch said.

Couch created a foundation in memory of his murdered friends. KXLY

The Moscow home that once held so many happy memories has since been demolished by the university, a controversial decision the victims’ family says has eliminated any potential hope of finding additional forensic evidence.

Through his lawyers, Kohberger – who faces four counts of murder and one count of burglary – recently claimed he was not near the university during the heinous killings, but was driving alone 40 minutes away.

He is due back in court on May 14 for a hearing that a judge said will be held behind closed doors.