Investigators pouring over the University of Idaho killings reportedly remain confused over why the surviving members of the household where the murders occurred waited so long to call the authorities.
“Dylan Mortensen, 21, opened her bedroom door to see an unknown ‘figure clad in black clothing and a mask’ walking past her, towards the home’s back exit, just after 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, she told investigators,” the New York Post notes, quoting from an affidavit.
Perhaps one of the most surprising details to come out of Kohberger court docs today – that surviving roommate Dylan Mortensen opened her door and reportedly saw a masked man dressed in black walk past her and out the back sliding glass door @komonews pic.twitter.com/yEx1nIlRsq
— Lynnanne Nguyen (@LynnanneNguyen) January 5, 2023
Yet neither she nor the other surviving roommate, Bethany Funke, 21, called the authorities until noon that afternoon. Why?
It’s “something that we have puzzled over — we don’t know if it was an issue of intoxication, or of fear,” an anonymous “Idaho law enforcement source” told the Post.
Regardless, the authorities “are really, really confident about it not being an issue of [Mortensen] being involved,” the source added.
“We look at these things through the lens of rational adults — and when we do that, sometimes things don’t make sense to us — but she’s a 20-year-old girl and we don’t know what she was doing, or if she was scared,” he said.
Fear does admittedly seem like the top reason.
Indeed, according to ABC News, Mortensen stood “frozen” in “shock” when she saw the killer, who’s since been identified as Bryan Kohberger.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 1, 2023
“A roommate who survived the quadruple murders at the University of Idaho told police she saw a man in black clothes and a mask walking past her in her house on the night of the killings, and she stood ‘frozen’ and in ‘shock,'” ABC News reported last week, quoting from the same affidavit.
“The roommate said she didn’t recognize the man, who walked toward the back sliding glass door at her off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, according to documents released on Thursday. She locked herself in her room after seeing him.”
However, before locking herself in her room, she “thought she heard Goncalves saying, ‘There’s someone here,’ followed by the sound of crying from Kernodle’s room and a male voice ringing out, ‘It’s ok, I’m going to help you,'” according to the Post.
As a reminder, the victims of the tragic murders were Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.
The only potential “good” news — and that’s using the word “good” extremely loosely — is the authorities are confident that all four would still be dead had Mortensen called the police immediately instead of rushing back into her room.
“The four were dead when the guy left, and they weren’t crying for help, they weren’t moving or trying to get out. They weren’t in a condition where an ambulance could save their life, on the basis of what we know now,” former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden told the Post.
“People are concerned about [the delay in calling for help], but it isn’t a concern from a forensic point of view. Nothing was interfered with by that delay,” he added.
A few new items have been dropped off at the memorial outside the home where four University of Idaho students were murdered. There’s now a sign here that reads “Rise up, rebuild, fight back.” pic.twitter.com/emCgqQqdkQ
— Robert Sherman (@RobertShermanTV) January 8, 2023
As for the victims’ families, they too don’t seem to view Mortensen (or Funke, for that matter) in any sort of negative light over the delay.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Cavuto Live” last week, the attorney representing Goncalves’ family was, if anything, grateful for the description of Kohberger that Mortensen had provided the authorities.
“The fact that she was able to give some additional Identification, I think it [was] beneficial in this case. She was able to give kind of type and build and what [the suspect] looked like a little bit — bushy eyebrows, things along those lines,” attorney Shanon Gray said.
As to why Mortensen chose to return to her room after seeing Kohberger, Gray for his part believes she was “scared to death.”
There are two other matters that neither investigators nor observers have figured out yet. One, what was Kohberger’s connection to the victims, if any. And two, why did he kill them?
“There’s no rhyme or reason to it — there are no ties between them. Nobody has said ‘we’ve found the link’ — and that would include Dylan,” the Post’s anonymous source said.
Gray said virtually the same: “No one knew anything about Kohberger until he was arrested. We didn’t know anything until the name was given to the public. Obviously, since then, since we have a name and a face, I think all the families are going back and looking at if there [are] any connections between any of the victims in the case.”
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