The family of Idaho murders victim Kaylee Goncalves are defending the surviving roommate who claims she saw the ‘murderer’ but failed to call police.
Dylan Mortensen, who survived along with fellow roommate, Bethany Funke, while her four friends were knifed to death on November 13 did not call police but still gave information about the suspect to police, attorney Shanon Gray told Fox News.
Gray, who is representing the Goncalves family, said Mortensen was likely ‘scared to death’ when she encountered the man, and insisted that she was ‘still a victim in this case.’
‘The fact that she was able to give some additional identification, I think it’s beneficial in this case,’ Gray said. ‘She was able to give, kind of, the type and build and what [the suspect] looked like a little bit — bushy eyebrows, things along those lines.’
The Goncalveses are the latest to defend Mortensen after the roommate of a woman who suffered a brutal 1992 attack said she also had a delayed response during a similar scenario.
Dylan Mortensen, was one of two roommates who survived the brutal Idaho murder case that claimed four of her friends. It was revealed that Mortensen saw the murder the night of the crime but did not call police
Despite the revelation, the family of victim Kaylee Goncalves (above) said Mortensen was likely ‘scared to death’ that night and noted that she still spoke with police about what she saw
Suspect Bryan Kohberger (pictured) faced the death penalty as he’s accused of killing Goncalves, Madison Mogen, both 21, Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin , both 20 on November 13 in their off-campus home
Pictured: Kaylee’s father, Steve, who has been vocal about the case
Goncalves, Madison Mogen, both 21, Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20, were stabbed to death while in bed at a house in Moscow, Idaho – with Mortensen and Funke as the only survivors.
Suspect Bryan Kohberger, 28, faces the death penalty if he is convicted of the quadruple murders.
This week a probable cause affidavit revealed that Mortensen had heard several scuffles throughout the night her roommates were murdered and opened her door.
Mortensen told police that she saw a suspect dressed in all black with a mask covering his face and heard one of her housemates say, ‘there’s someone here.’
Mortensen ‘stated she opened her door for the third time after she heard the crying and saw a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose walking towards her’.
She heard the suspect say, ‘It’s ok, I’m here to help you,’ as the person crept through the house committing the quadruple killings.
The affidavit adds: ‘D.M. described the figure as 5’ 10″ or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows.
Mortensen has not revealed why she failed to call the authorities earlier but some are arguing that she may have been ‘frozen’ by fear.
Alanna Zabel, 50, said she can relate having also had a delayed response as she pieced together the horrific 1992 attack at her sorority.
(L-R) Dylan Mortensen, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Bethany Funke
Alanna Zabel, 50, found her college roommate near to death in her blood covered room in 1992 and has defended the delayed reaction of University of Idaho quadruple murder survivor Dylan Mortensen
Pictured: investigators removing one of the mattresses from the crime scene
Zabel lived in a house with five sorority sisters off campus from the University of Buffalo and said she can relate to the ‘anguish’ Mortensen and Funke are feeling.
She said that she too had a delayed response and felt guilty that she went to sleep despite hearing muffled heavy breathing in her roommates room – and only called cops the next day.
‘Someone was stalking us and broke in one night while we were out partying and drinking late,’ she said.
‘They brutally beat and raped my housemate. I found her six hours later and she nearly died.’
‘I didn’t see any blood at first, even though the room was covered in it,’ she said.
Zabel said having been through a similar situation living with the guilt of not calling 911 sooner haunts her.
‘I’ve lived with the guilt of not calling 911 sooner my entire life. I never saw the attacker or saw signs of the break in until I found my housemate the next morning,’ she said.
‘I can imagine the guilt this surviving roommate in Idaho must be feeling. I too called 911 reporting an unconscious person because I didn’t understand the extent of what was happening.’
She went on to say when you’re living in an environment, like college, where having strangers in your house becomes normal, it’s hard to ‘fathom’ a tragedy like this.
‘You don’t want to believe it to be true. Being so young I can imagine she went into shock, it’s a true defense mechanism for survival,’ she said.
Investigators have said they found Kohberger’s DNA in the crime scene
Kohberger was arrested 2,532 miles away from the scene of the crime
Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle and Chapin’s blood-soaked bodies were found by cops just before noon after Mortensen and Funke – two housemates who survived the slayings – awoke around 11am to find their friends dead.
The savage killings shocked Moscow – a small college town in Idaho with a population of just 26,000 – that had not seen a murder since 2015.
Police this week unsealed an arrest affidavit revealing why they’ve pointed the finger at Kohberger, 28, more than a month after the four students were slain in their beds.
He was denied bail during a brief court appearance in Moscow on Thursday, shortly after the affidavit outlining some of the case against him was shared online.
The papers included details on how Kohberger’s DNA was found on a knife sheath close to the bodies of Mogen and Goncalves.