Who was Ethan Chapin? University of Idaho homicide victim remembered fondly back in hometown

The 20-year-old from Conway, Washington reportedly was a triplet with two siblings and has been remembered as a good kid

Who was Ethan Chapin? University of Idaho homicide victim remembered fondly back in hometown
Ethan Chapin was dating Xana Kernodle (L), who was also killed; his brother Hunter Chapin (R) is a University of Idaho student (Instagram/ @xanakernodle and @hunterchapin3)
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MOSCOW, IDAHO: The alleged homicide case of four students of University of Idaho, who were found dead in an off-campus housing over the weekend, has shocked the community. On Monday, November 14, all the victims were identified by the Moscow Police Department - Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle – both 20-year-olds –- and 21-year-olds Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves. Even as police search for the killer, cops have remained tight-lipped about how the four students were killed or what potential motive their killer may have had.

A media release from the authorities said as reported by The New York Post, “Currently, there is no one in custody. The Moscow Police does not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation.” Besides, Moscow Mayor Art Bettge added, “With a crime of this magnitude, it’s very difficult to work through. The overall assessment is that it’s a crime of passion.”

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(L-R) Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were identified as the four students who were found dead in an off-campus accommodation (xanakernodle/Instagram and kayleegoncalves/Instgram)
(L-R) Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were identified as the four students who were found dead in an off-campus accommodation (xanakernodle/Instagram and kayleegoncalves/Instgram)

In the aftermath of the unfortunate episode, University President Scott Green on Monday wrote on Facebook, “Classes Cancelled to Honor Student Victims It is with deep sadness that I share with you that the university was notified today of the death of four University of Idaho students living off-campus believed to be victims of homicide. Out of respect for these fellow Vandals, classes statewide and online are cancelled Monday, Nov. 14. All campuses remain open. Classes will resume Tuesday, Nov. 15.

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“Students impacted have support options available. Students can reach out to the Counseling and Testing Center on the third floor of Mary Forney Hall or call 208-885-6716 for support. Press option three for immediate support in the evenings and on weekends.”

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Who was Ethan Chapin?

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. An Instagram post from Kernodle’s account was dedicated to him and read, “Happiest of birthdays to @ethanchapin4 ❤️ life is so much better with you in it, love you!”


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It has also been said that the young man was a freshman. He was also the Sigma Chi fraternity's member and was reportedly liked by people in his community. Chapin was a triplet with two siblings – a sister and a brother – who all went to the Conway School in their initial years before attending Mount Vernon High School. His brother, Hunter Chapin, a fellow Idaho student, posted a photo of the two with the caption: “My brother and my best friend❤️.”

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As per a neighbor named Dave Hayton, he had seen all the siblings growing together. He said, “You just couldn't ask for better kids. (My wife) was crying and she says that Ethan had been murdered. I just couldn't get my head around it. I know I didn't sleep a lot last night thinking about them. We all had some good times together. I remember last night I woke up several times thinking I wish somebody would tell me it's a bad dream. Unfortunately it's a reality.”

Superintendent Jeff Cravy of Mount Vernon High School also expressed his thoughts as he said,“Our hearts go out to family, friends and staff that were touched by Ethan. Ethan and the Chapin family have family, friends, and connections to Conway who are also feeling the depth of this loss.”

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