Dylan Mortensen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

dylan mortensen

TikTok/Dylan Mortensen Dylan Mortensen.

Dylan Mortensen is one of the two roommates who were not injured during the November 13, 2022, knife attack murders of four University of Idaho college students in their off-campus rental house.

Mortensen is mentioned by her initials D.M. in the police affidavit accusing graduate student Bryan Kohberger of murdering the students. His lawyer told Today that Kohberger believes he will be “exonerated.”

The affidavit, which was released publicly on January 5, 2023, says that Mortensen saw the killer. However, 911 was not called until 11:58 a.m., hours later, the police website on the case says. The affidavit says Mortensen froze and then locked her bedroom door.

In part, authorities used Mortensen’s observations to determine that the homicides occurred between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m., the affidavit says. An anonymous Idaho law enforcement source told The New York Post that the eight-hour gap in reporting the crime “has been something that we have puzzled over — we don’t know if it was an issue of intoxication, or of fear.”

Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen, were stabbed to death in their off-campus rental home on November 13, 2022, police say on their website. The police affidavit accuses Kohberger of stalking the students’ home 12 times and leaving behind a knife sheath with DNA on it. The affidavit does not provide a motive.

The other surviving roommate, Bethany Funke, does not feature in the affidavit as prominently as Mortensen does. Neither Mortensen nor Funke was attacked, police have said in previous news releases. Videos about Mortensen have had more than 24 million views on TikTok as people discuss theories in the case.

Under a section on their website devoted to “who is NOT believed to be involved?” Moscow, Idaho, police wrote, “Two surviving roommates.”

Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee, told TODAY of the two surviving roommates, “You got to remember these two girls were so upset that when they went outside after seeing this … one passed out. And the other one was so hyperventilating that the message wasn’t clear enough for the operator.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Mortensen Heard Sounds the Morning of the Murders, the Affidavit Says

dylan mortensen bethany funke

Instagram/FacebookDylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke.

Funke’s room was on the first floor of the King Road residence, according to the affidavit. Mortensen’s bedroom was on the southeast side of the second floor, which is the floor where two of the victims, Chapin and Kernodle, were also sleeping.

The affidavit says both surviving roommates were interviewed by the police.

Funke told police she had seen Chapin and Kernodle that night at the Sigma Chi House from 9 p.m. through 1:45 a.m., the affidavit says. Goncalves and Mogen were at a local bar and then a food truck before arriving home at 1:56 a.m., it says.

By 4 a.m., all of the people in the house were in their rooms, the roommates told police, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit describes various sounds heard by Mortensen the morning of the murders. According to the affidavit, Mortensen, again identified only by her initials, woke up at 4 a.m. to what sounded like Goncalves playing with her dog in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

She heard a person she thought was Goncalves say “something to the effect of ‘there’s someone here,’” the affidavit says. This voice might actually have been Kernodle, who was probably on TikTok when the murders occurred around 4:12 a.m., the affidavit says.

Mortensen told police she looked out of her bedroom but did not see anything, according to the affidavit.

She opened the door a second time when she heard what she thought was crying coming from Kernodle’s room, it says, and then she heard a male voice say “something to the effect of ‘It’s okay, I’m going to help you.’”

At 4:17 a.m., a security camera nearby picked up distorted audio of what “sounded like voices or a whimper followed by a loud thud,” the affidavit says, and “a dog can also be heard barking numerous times starting at 4:17 a.m.,” the affidavit says.

Mortensen told police 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. D.M. described the figure as 5’10” or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows,” the affidavit says.

He walked past her as she stood in “frozen shock phase” and walked back towards the back sliding glass door, it says.

“The male walked towards the back sliding glass door. D.M. locked herself in her room after seeing the male. D.M. did not state that she recognized the male. This leads investigators to believe that the murderer left the scene,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit then describes in great detail how police used video, cell phone, and DNA evidence to identify Kohberger as the suspect.

Dr. Judith F. Joseph, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry in New York, told NBC News that traumatic shock responses are not uncommon.

“When your body is in shock and you think you’re going to die or you think you’re in a threatening situation, adrenaline surges your sympathetic nervous system and takes off, and you may experience a frozen state where consciously you know what’s happening, but then a coping mechanism is for you to dissociate,” Joseph said to NBC.

“It’s possible what happened with her was that she sort of went into a dissociation state and was just kind of confused and shocked and not really understanding what’s going on,” said Dr. Akeem Marsh, a clinical professor of psychiatry, to NBC, referring to Mortensen.

2. In a Letter Read by a Pastor, Mortensen Praised the Victims

In December, an Idaho pastor read a letter from Mortensen and Funke about the victims at a memorial service for them, according to CNN.

According to CNN, Mortensen’s letter described Kernodle as “the life of the party” but also a “strong, intelligent, hardworking and a beautiful person.” She described Chapin as “sweet and loving” to Kernodle, his girlfriend, and like an “older brother” to Mortensen.

Mortensen described Mogen and Goncalves as “the inseparable duo” and said she considered them like second moms, CNN reported.

“My life was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people,” the pastor read from Mortensen’s letter, according to CNN. “My people who changed my life in so many ways and made me so happy. I know it will be hard to not have the four of them in our lives, but I know Xana, Ethan, Maddie and Kaylee would want us to live life and be happy and they would want us to celebrate their lives.”

According to NewsNation, Mortensen’s letter also read: “I know somewhere Xana and Ethan are together, keeping each other company, watching us and telling us, ‘It’s okay and that we have each other.’ Maddie and Kaylee the inseparable duo, the two best friends that were like sisters.”

3. The 911 Call Was Made With the Phone of One of the Surviving Roommates, Police Say

On November 19, 2022, Moscow police wrote in a press release, “The cell phone used to call 911 belonged to one of the surviving roommates. Due to the ongoing investigation, the identity of the caller has not been released.” They did not say whether the phone belonged to Mortensen or Funke.

“Detectives believe that on November 12th, the two surviving roommates had been out in the Moscow community, separately, but returned home by 1 a.m. The two did not wake up until later on November 13th,” police continued in that release.

“Initially, the 911 call made at 11:58 a.m. on November 13th requested aid for an unconscious person. The call was made from inside the residence on one of the roommates’ cell phone. Moscow Police Department arrived shortly thereafter and found all four victims.”

4. Mortensen, Whose Profile Picture on Instagram Is a Photograph of the Victims, Has Locked Down or Deleted Her Social Media Accounts

dylan mortensen

FacebookDylan Mortensen

There isn’t much visible on Mortensen’s Instagram account, which is set to private. Her profile picture is a photo showing her with Funke and the three female victims.

“U of Idaho-PiPhi QK🤎,” is all that Mortensen’s once read. Now it just reads, “Dylan M.”

Funke’s Instagram page is also set to private and once read, “U of I x @idahopiphi.”

Mortenson’s Facebook page has been deleted; before it was deleted, the page said she is from Boise, Idaho, and it contained some old pictures. An old LinkedIn page in her name says she went to Boise Senior High School.

Mortensen’s TikTok page is set to private, and she has no bio posted on it. She only has 246 followers on TikTok.

Mortensen was photographed in pictures with the victims that appeared on the victims’ Instagram pages.

idaho students

InstagramThe Idaho victims, including Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen

“one lucky girl to be surrounded by these ppl everyday 🤍” Goncalves wrote the day of the murders with an Instagram photo that featured her with Kernodle, Mogen, Mortensen and Funke.

5. The Roommates Were Described as Quieter Than Their Rowdier Neighbors

dylan mortensen

FacebookDylan Mortensen

Neighbors told The New York Post that the roommates were “quieter than their rowdy collegiate neighbors.”

The neighbors told The Post that “small parties” were hosted in the home but that the roommates were usually “quiet by 10 p.m.,” The Post reported.

They were sometimes seen sitting around a patio fire, drinking beer, The Post reported.

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