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HomeUSA newsCommunity Remembers University of Idaho Murder Victims: 'Vibrant and Wild, Carefree'

Community Remembers University of Idaho Murder Victims: ‘Vibrant and Wild, Carefree’

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Hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on Wednesday for four University of Idaho students who were murdered earlier this week.

Community members gathered at Independence Point to remember students: Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, who were found dead in their home on the morning of November 13.

Among the mourners was Angela Navejas, the organizer of the vigil and who knew the students through her daughter. “They were vibrant and wild and carefree and loving,” Navejas said, according to Coeur d’Alene Press.

A split photo showing the crime scene and victims, including University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital/ Instagram/ @xanakernodle/ @kayleegoncalves))

“We know the bright stars that were here on Earth. They are up there looking at us,” he said.

She added: “Every one of them are the most amazing kids I’ve ever met in my life,” she said.

Navejas is the mother of Mogen’s best friend, Ashlin, who lived in the house where the four were killed, KXLY reported.

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO PRESIDENT SAYS SHOCKING MURDER OF FOUR STUDENTS IS ‘BEYOND COMPREHENSION’

Kirsten Rowley, Goncalves’ former co-worker, described her as a “ball of sunshine” and described her and Mogen, her best friend, as inseparable, according to Coeur d’Alene Press.

“My heart aches for the people who lost them both,” Rowley said.

Candles and flowers are left at a makeshift memorial honoring four slain University of Idaho students in front of the Mad Greek restaurant in downtown Moscow, Idaho, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Candles and flowers are left at a makeshift memorial honoring four slain University of Idaho students in front of the Mad Greek restaurant in downtown Moscow, Idaho, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
(AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geraniums)

Rowley and Goncalves previously worked together at Dutch Bros on Northwest Boulevard.

Garrett Sciortino, who described Kernodle as his best friend in high school, shared some good and funny memories and said it’s what she would have wanted.

“I know that if she was standing here, she would want us to remember the good times,” Sciortino told the outlet.

This December 2021 photo provided by Jazzmin Kernodle shows Father Jeff Kernodle, left, Xana, center, and Jazzmin, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

This December 2021 photo provided by Jazzmin Kernodle shows Father Jeff Kernodle, left, Xana, center, and Jazzmin, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
(Courtesy of Jazzmin Kernodle via AP)

She added, “Xana, I know you’re listening right now. I just want to tell you that I love you. I always have and always will.”

Sciortino also called on law enforcement to do “everything” in their power to “bring the monster responsible to justice.”

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Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris was also in attendance at the event.

“Kootenai County, the state and the nation mourn with the families and friends of the victims of this horrific criminal act,” Norris said.

Separately, the family of Ethan Chapin shared with the Associated Press their last memories of their son, who is a triplet, at a dance hosted by Maizie’s sorority.

“He was our daughter Maizie’s date, and her brother was Maizie’s roommates’ date,” Chapin’s mother, Stacy Chapin, said in an interview Wednesday. “Everyone spent their last day together, all dressed up and had a great time. We’re all thankful they spent that time together.”

The mother added: “He could read any situation and make it better. He was so carefree.”

During a press conference that same day, the head of the Moscow Police Department, James Fry, provided additional details about the quadruple homicide.

He said a threat to the Moscow community “possibly” still exists as no persons of interest or suspects have been taken into custody as of Wednesday night.

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University of Idaho President Scott Green also spoke at the news conference, describing the student deaths as “beyond comprehension.”

“First, my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ethan, Kaylie, Zina and Madison,” Green said. “Their loss has been devastating and they were shining lights in our community and they are greatly missed and remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20;  Xana Kernodle, 20;  Madison Mogen, 21;  and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.

University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
(Jazzmin Kernodle via AP/Instagram/ @kayleegoncalves)

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He added: “While our small community is certainly not immune to such things, it’s not a situation our tight-knit campus is used to dealing with.”

The school administrator said the school is fully cooperating with Moscow police “when questioned and continually presses for information whenever possible.”

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