Idaho murders: Is Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen's failure to report deaths a federal crime?

Idaho murders: Is Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen's failure to report deaths a federal crime?
Bethany Funke (L) and Dylan Mortensen survived the quadruple homicide on November 13 (Instagram/@bethanyfunke, @dylan_mortensen)

This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.

MOSCOW IDAHO: The shocking quadruple homicide of four University of Idaho students at an off-campus home has sent shockwaves through the community. The victims' roommates Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke luckily survived the attack, but web sleuths are now wondering whether their delay in reporting the deaths constitutes a federal crime.

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Dylan and Bethany survived the bloodbath despite their four roommates falling victim to alleged killer Bryan Kohberger. The duo was friends with the victims Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. However, authorities did not consider either survivor a suspect in the investigation.

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It's worth noting that Dylan and Bethany lived on the first floor of the rented residence in Moscow, Idaho, while Madison, Kaylee, and Xana lived on the second and third floors of the building. Law enforcement said they weren't contacted until around noon on the day of the murders, several hours after the homicides took place. Investigators believe the four victims were killed between 4 am and 4.30 am PST. Now, web sleuths are wondering whether Dylan and Bethany's delay in alerting the authorities constitutes a federal crime.   

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Twitter user @JennieHuff_ asked, "If #dylan & #Bethany knew that #kaylee #ethan #maddie & #xana were #unalived for even 5 min., no matter their reason(s), Is that #FailureToReport a #crime in your #opinion[?] #idahomurders #input #update #bk #bryankohberger #truecrime #bk #Idaho4 #Idahohomocides #idahostudentstabbed." The tweet also featured a snippet from a Shouse California Law Group (SCLG) blog, explaining whether "failure to report a crime" is a federal crime. "18 U.S.C. 4 makes it a crime when a person who knows about a felony affirmatively conceals it and does not – as soon as possible – make it known to a judge or other person in U.S. civil or military authority," the graphic explained. "Penalties include fines and/or up to 3 years in prison."

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The post sparked a discussion about the survivors' culpability.

"She wasn’t aware!" one wrote in defense of either Dylan or Bethany. "How can you not be aware.. if she slept through it fair enough.. but she froze out of fear for that long idk," another retorted. "If you are unaware there is a crime then you don't report it..." someone else offered. "Great point and yes since when they did awaken it was still another 4 hours that went by," another agreed.



 

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Dylan and Bethany reportedly returned to their shared residence around 1 am after a night out on November 13, 2022. The four victims returned to the home at 2 am. Dylan confessed to the authorities that she woke up at 4 am after hearing Kaylee say "there's someone here," but she found nothing when she took a peek outside of her room. The second time she opened the door was when she heard someone "crying" from Kernodle's room. Dylan also said she heard a male voice say something to the effect of "it’s ok, I’m going to help you." Soon after "a "5'10" or taller, male not very muscular, but athletically build with bushy eyebrows" walked past Dylan. She said she stood in a "frozen shock phase" as the suspect - alleged to be Bryan Kohberger - walked out from the sliding glass door from the backside. 

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Bryan Kohberger, right, appears at a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger has been arrested for the murders of four University of Idaho students in November 2022.
Bryan Kohberger, right, appears at a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger has been arrested for the murders of four University of Idaho students in November 2022 (Ted S Warren - Pool/Getty Images)

While it's unclear whether the survivors' apparent failure to report is a crime, the 8-hour gap “has been something that we have puzzled over," a law enforcement source told the New York Post. "We don’t know if it was an issue of intoxication, or of fear,” they said. Earlier, police reports revealed that Dylan and Bethany called friends to the scene before one of them finally called 911 at 11.58 am. However, the pair were quickly ruled out as suspects and have cooperated with the investigation. The police source said investigators “are really, really confident about it not being an issue of [Mortensen] being involved" despite the unsettling delay. “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,” the lawman added.

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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