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'I love you more than life!' Friends describe unbreakable bond between Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen

The two best friends who were brutally murdered spent lots of time together — especially at Goncalves' home with her family
UPDATED NOV 21, 2022
Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were slaughtered with two other University of Idaho students (@kayleegoncalves/ Instagram)
Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were slaughtered with two other University of Idaho students (@kayleegoncalves/ Instagram)

MOSCOW, IDAHO: Four students from the University of Idaho were found dead in an off-campus accommodation on Sunday, November 13. According to Moscow police, a homicide at an off-campus residence on King Road claimed the lives of Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 21, Madison Mogen, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. Since they were in sixth grade, Goncalves and Mogen have been great friends, and both sets of families have accepted them as members of their own. Mogen went on cruises with the Goncalves family and vice versa, NBC news reported. Goncalves' sister Alivea Goncalves said, "We’re all sisters — and Kaylee and Maddie were, especially."

The teenage girls' close friend, who opted to remain unnamed to keep the story centered on Goncalves and Mogen instead of herself, told Yahoo! News that "Mogen loved having a sister with not only Kaylee but her entire family and it allowed her to see all the beauty in sisterhood." The two closest friends often hung out together, especially at Goncalves' house. They were renowned for their charm, sense of humor, ironic love of country music, especially old Taylor Swift songs, and their love of nature and sunsets.


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The women's childhood friend stated, "You can’t even explain it if you try to, the only thing that makes sense about any of this is that if they were going to go, they were going to go together." The friend added, "I remember so many times when I was in a car with them and we'd drive up a hill and just look at the view. I just think of girls' girls when I think of them."

The best friend made it clear that she preferred to concentrate on Goncalves and Mogen's lives than the tragedy which claimed their lives. A statement from the two young women's closest friends states, "I truly think they were each other's twins. We want to only remember the good times about them, the memories and the laughs," Yahoo! News reported.

Police called the killings "an isolated, targeted attack." The four students died of homicide by stabbing, all of which likely occurred while they were asleep, according to the Latah County coroner's announcement on Thursday. November 17. Goncalves was a senior general study major in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. She belonged to the Alpha Phi fraternity and was from Rathdrum, Idaho. Senior Mogen was finishing her marketing degree at the College of Business and Economics. She belonged to the Pi Beta Phi sorority. One of the four victims, identified as Ethan Chapin, was reportedly from Conway, Washington. The New York Post said that he was friends with Mogen and Goncalves, and was dating Kernodle. The young man was a freshman. He was also a Sigma Chi fraternity member and was reportedly liked by people in his community. Kernodle was a junior at the University of Iowa's College of Business and Economics specializing in marketing. According to the school, she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Kernodle was born in Avondale, Arizona, but grew up in Post Falls, Idaho, according to police. 


In May, Kaylee Goncalves posted on Instagram to wish Maddie "happy 21st birthday." "I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to be the main character in all my childhood stories," she said. They were depicted in a slideshow as young girls growing up to become college students. Mogan replied, "I love you more than life! My best friend forever and more." The closest friend said, "She'd say Maddie is always her forever plus-one."

As reported by MEAWW, police previously said, “We are making progress as far as processing leads go.” The Behavioral Analysis Unit is creating a profile of the accused murderer, they revealed. However, it might not be made public unless it is necessary to generate additional leads. A map was also released that provided the victim's whereabouts before the murders. Meanwhile, anyone with information about this crime or a tip about the victim's whereabouts, or a suspicious person in the area is asked to call 208-883-7180 or email