Xana Kernodle was one of the four University of Idaho students who were stabbed to death in an off-campus home. She was remembered as smart, bright, and creative.
Her father, Jeff Kernodle, described his daughter as always being with her friends.
“She didn’t really worry about the drama and stuff that much. She was never into that. She just liked having fun. Never about materialistic things,” Jeffrey Kernodle told AZFamily.com. “She was–-all the time–-always with her friends.”
A woman who knew Kernodle wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help her dad: “Xana was a beautiful soul. I feel lucky to have at least gotten to be around her for even a short time. Prayers to her family and friends.”
Xana Kernolde died in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022, in a home she shared with her friends. Two of her roommates and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, who was staying over, were also stabbed to death. The deaths have all been ruled homicides.
“These individuals have been identified as Ethan Chapin, 20, Conway, WA; Madison Mogen, 21, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Xana Kernodle, 20, Avondale, AZ ; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, Rathdrum, ID,” Moscow, Idaho, police wrote in a statement.
“All four victims were students at the University of Idaho. Please respect the privacy of the victims’ family, friends, and loved ones as the Moscow Police Department investigates this tragic event.” The cause of death was homicide. The victims were stabbed, according to the coroner.
Here’s what you need to know about Xana Kernodle:
1. Kernodle’s Dad Says She Fought Her Attacker, Adding That the Crime ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’
Jeffrey Kernodle told the Arizona news site that he was baffled by the crime.
“I have no idea. It doesn’t make sense,” he said, adding that nothing stood out about that night, and Kernodle was always in contact with her family.
“The door locks with a number code. Every time you go, you have to go around the house because of the number code so they either knew that or went around and maybe found the slider door open,” he explained to AZFamily.
“They were just hanging out at home. Xana was just hanging out at home with her boyfriend,” he said.
He told the site that she fought her killer: “Bruises, torn by the knife. She’s a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it.”
2. Kernodle Was Dating Victim Ethan Chapin
Kernodle’s father told AZFamily that Kernodle and Chapin, one of the other homicide victims, had been dating for a year.
“I saw her just a week before that and she changed a lot,” he told AZFamily.
“She had a life. She got to see what it was like to have a boyfriend you live with. And she really turned around. She was really responsible. Helping him out with his studies and stuff. I was really impressed.”
3. Xana’s Instagram Page Showed Her With Chapin, Friends & on Vacations
Xana filled her Instagram page with pictures of Chapin. “Happiest of birthdays to @ethanchapin4 ❤️ life is so much better with you in it, love you!” reads her most recent post.
Nineteen weeks before the murders, she wrote, “Nobody else I would rather celebrate 20 years around the sun with” alongside a photo showing her with Chapin.
In May, she wrote, “Thank you sophomore year for all the memories ❤️ until next semester.”
4. A GoFundMe Page Was Created to Help Xana’s Family
Kernodle’s friend created a GoFundMe page to help her family.
“Hi, my name is maya hippenstiel. I am a very close friend of xanas. On this day heaven gained 4 angels in the most unfortunate circumstances,” it reads.
“I am hopping this gofundme can help cover funeral/memorial or whatever costs may be required following this incident. I know it applies to me but waking up and realizing it’s a day xana wont be in – is unbearable. So I would like to at least take some stress off of her families plate. All proceeds will go directly to her father. Thank you for any donation big or small, your kindness matters. If you knew xan you know this is more than just a loss.”
People left tributes to Kernodle on the GoFundMe page comment thread.
“I am a teacher, and Xana was one of my students when I was doing my teaching internship at Post Falls Middle School,” a man wrote.
“You never forget the first class you taught. She sat in the front row in Honors English. I remember seeing her every morning. I loved that group of students. They were very good to me and gave me a great first experience as a teacher. For one of my first students to pass away is a hard thing to accept. I send up a prayer for her family and friends. Xana was a wonderful girl. She will be dearly missed.”
Idaho Vandal Solutions wrote: “Xana was a smart, bright, creative, and driven teammate and is loved deeply by our Vandal Solutions group. We are so grateful for her contagious smile and laughter that lit up our classroom. Our thoughts go out to her family, friends, and the Vandal community at this time.”
A woman wrote that Kernodle played soccer in high school.
5. Kernodle Was a Server at the Mad Greek Restaurant
The Mad Greek restaurant posted a tribute to two of the victims, who worked there:
It is with a broken heart and deep sadness to share with you that we have lost two of our own here at Mad Greek.
Xana and Maddie have been servers here for several years and brought so much joy to our restaurant and all of those they encountered. Maddie was also the face behind our social media pages.
With this incredible loss, we have shut down to process and grieve.
Our deepest sympathies go out to all of the friends and families of Xana, Maddie, Ethan and Kaylee.
We as a team offer our support to anyone in need at this time. ❤️
-Jackie and all of the Mad Greek Family
You will be greatly missed. Thank you for being a part of our family/team and for helping me so much over the years. Until we meet again. Love, The Worlds Best Boss 💕
READ NEXT: More on the Idaho Victims.