‘They were with their best friend in the whole world’: Kaylee Goncalves’s dad Steve's heartbreaking tribute
This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.
MOSCOW, IDAHO: A memorial service for four students who were killed at a nearby off-campus residence earlier in November was held at the University of Idaho at 5 pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Xana Kernodle, 20, her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, and friends Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were discovered dead from stab wounds on November 13 in their off-campus home.
Parents of the killed students shared their memories of their children at the vigil at the gym on campus. K5 reported that a funeral ceremony for Kernodle will take place later this week so her family was unable to attend Wednesday's vigil. Steve Goncalves, Kaylee's father, talked about how raising a daughter helped him understand the world from her perspective.
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According to KXLY, Kaylee Goncalves' father Steve Goncalves spoke to the gathering while sobbing, making a joke about how she wouldn't want him to shame her. He said, "I hope to make you laugh. But, I’m afraid we’re going to have to cry." He called Kaylee and her best friend Madison Mogen "beautiful souls." Goncalves also talked about the unique bond between fathers and daughters. "You start falling in love with this world they built, you see this world and it changes, you start seeing the beauty of what they have and what makes them special," he stated, adding, "That's the world as I see it now, and I never want to see it any other way."
Steve also discussed the strong friendship between Kaylee and Madison. He claimed that the two of them first met in a charter school in the sixth grade, persuaded their parents to let them attend a public high school together, and later decided to enroll in the University of Idaho together. He added that he found comfort in the fact that they passed away together. "In the end, they died together, in the same room and the same bed," he stated.
"It's a shame and it hurts, (but) the beauty of the two always being together, it comforts us, it lets us know they were with their best friend in the whole world." Later, he addressed the crowd encouraging them to move forward, adding, "You’re just going to have to love each other. The only thing that’s going to heal is love."
Police haven't yet disclosed the specific piece of information that leads them to believe the killings were targeted. While they search for a suspect, investigators are also requesting that everyone be extremely cautious.
MEAWW reported earlier that investigators have gone through more than 1,000 tips received in the 10 days after the bodies were discovered, authorities said during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, November 23. Colonel Kedrick Wills of the Idaho State Patrol also stated that more than 150 persons had also been interviewed. However, authorities offered no indication that they were any closer to finding a suspect.
Kaylee's father Steve told CNN on Wednesday, November 23 that he is "a little in denial" about the killings and is focused on getting justice for his daughter despite the lack of information. The father, who was joined by his other children, Alivea and Steven, said, "We all want to play a part in helping, and we can't play a part if we don't have any real substantial information to work from."
Independent reported that the parents of the slain University of Idaho students pledged to "get justice." Steve said, "We’re gunna get our justice. We’re gunna figure stuff out. This community deserves that."