The two roommates who survived the University of Idaho massacre have broken their silence by sharing their memories of the “four beautiful people” in letters read at a memorial service.
Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen were asleep on the first floor of the off-campus Moscow home where Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were killed Nov. 13.
At a livestreamed service in Post Falls, Idaho, where Kernodle grew up, a local pastor read a letter written by Funke and Mortensen.
“Maddie, Xana, Kaylee and Ethan were all one of a kind,” the pastor at Real Life Ministries read aloud from the letters written by the two survivors, CBS News reported.
“To Xana and Ethan: they were the perfect pair together and had this unstoppable relationship,” Mortensen wrote, according to the news outlet.
The four “changed the way I look at life,” she said.
“My life was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people,” Mortensen said in her letter, CNN reported.
“My people who changed my life in so many ways and made me so happy. I know it will be hard to not have the four of them in our lives, but I know Xana, Ethan, Maddie and Kaylee would want us to live life and be happy and they would want us to celebrate their lives,” she added.
Funke wrote that the four slain students “were all gifts to this world in your own special way — and it just won’t be the same without you.”
She added that Mogen was the older sister she’d always wanted but never had.
“You always told me that everything happens for a reason,” Funke wrote about Mogen, whom she described as her “big” at the school’s Pi Beta Phi sorority, according to the Idaho Statesman.
“But I’m having a really hard time trying to understand the reason for this,” she wrote.
“I wish every day that I could give them all one last hug and say how much I loved them,” Funke added. “I thought a lot about what I would say to each of them, if I could.”
She described Goncalves as a “sweet and giving” person with a great sense of humor.
Funke also said Kernodle and Chapin, who were in a relationship, “made people believe in true love,” CNN reported.
She described Kernodle as “loving, fun, energetic, funny, passionate,” and Chapin as having “the brightest, most fun personality.”
Funke also noted she always looked up to Mogen, who gave her the best advice and always offered to help.
It was unclear whether Funke and Mortensen attended the event, which reporters were not allowed to cover in person.
Mogen’s boyfriend Jake Schriger also broke his silence at the event, where he shared his memories of the slain student.
“She was the first person I talked to every morning and the last person I talked to before bed,” Schriger said. “She was the person that I loved most.”