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Skagit County man among 4 found dead near University of Idaho

Ethan Chapin, 20, was one of four University of Idaho students found dead over the weekend in a suspected homicide.

CONWAY, Wash. — A man from Skagit County was among four people who were found dead in a home near the University of Idaho over the weekend.

The city of Moscow, Idaho identified Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash. as one of the victims Monday. Conway is about six miles south of Mount Vernon.

The other victims were identified as Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Ariz.; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Officers with the Moscow Police Department were called to the home on King Road on Nov. 13 at 11:58 a.m. after reports of an unconscious person. When they got there, officers found four people who were dead.  All four are University of Idaho students.

Police said the deaths are suspected homicides.

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No one is in custody. However, the city said it did not believe there is ongoing community risk based on the police’s preliminary investigation.

Friends of the Chapin family said Ethan Chapin was beloved in his community. He was a triplet with one brother and one sister. 

"You just couldn't ask for better kids," said neighbor Dave Hayton. 

Credit: Stacy Chapin
Ethan, Mazie and Hunter Chapin (clockwise, from left).

Hayton said he considered all of the Chapin kids to be family. He said he watched them grow up in their Conway neighborhood. When the couple heard what had happened they were crushed.

"(My wife) was crying and she says that Ethan had been murdered. I just couldn't get my head around it," said Hayton.

All three siblings attended the Conway School for nine full years before moving on to Mount Vernon High School where Chapin played on the basketball and tennis teams. He graduated in 2021.

A spokesperson for the school district told KING 5, "Our hearts are with his family, friends, former teachers, counselors, and support staff. Our team is ready to support our student body and staff with counselors during this extremely difficult time." 

After graduating from high school, all three siblings decided to attend the University of Idaho.

Chapin and his brother were members of the same fraternity.

"I know I didn't sleep a lot last night thinking about them," Hayton said. "We all had some good times together."

Hayton recalled Chapin as smart, athletic and always respectful.

"I remember last night I woke up several times thinking I wish somebody would tell me it's a bad dream," said Hayton. "Unfortunately it's a reality."

The University of Idaho canceled classes Monday out of respect for the students who died. All campuses will remain open and classes will resume Tuesday, the university said in a letter to students.

The Moscow Police Department is asking anyone who may have information about the suspected homicides to call them at 208-882-COPS or 208-882-2677.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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