Idaho Murders Update: A survivor of the University of Idaho homicides allegedly mistook noises of her four roommates being brutally murdered for loud partying — and may have passed out after seeing suspected killer Bryan Kohberger.
According to a person close to the case, Dylan Mortensen, 21, allegedly cried out to her companions to be quiet after mistaking the disturbance for partying.
Around 4 a.m., Mortensen allegedly opened her bedroom door and said, “Calm down, you’re being loud!” as well as “I’m trying to sleep!”
According to the source, she then shut and locked her door.
After hearing further loud noises that night, Mortensen opened her door again and spotted the alleged killer, whom she mistook for a partygoer, according to the source.
In another complaint, Mortensen told officials that just after 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, she saw an unknown “person clothed in black attire and a mask” strolling by her towards the home’s rear exit.
For another eight hours, the cops were not summoned to the off-campus residence. According to authorities, the four students were slain between 4 and 4:25 a.m.
Kohberger, 28, was arrested and charged with the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20 in December at his parent’s house in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.
Mortensen and Bethany Funke, both 21, were their other housemates at the time of their murders.
While it is uncertain why it took the two surviving roommates eight hours to contact the cops, retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer theorized Mortensen may have been petrified with panic after witnessing an unknown guy wearing all black and a mask enter her home late at night.
Coffindaffer thought that Mortensen “passed out” as a result of stress or panic after confronting Kohberger.
“Let’s speak DM: -21 -Late -Perhaps under the influence -Face to Face with a stranger in black feet away -Froze due to Fear -Locked herself in BR -I assume DM passed out from trauma/fear/stress -To think you may be murdered is gripping; I know #idahosuspect,” she tweeted Jan. 6.
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Coffindaffer also shared a Medical News Today article that discusses the fight, flight, or freezes reaction and how it exists to “keep individuals safe by preparing them to encounter, run, or hide from danger.”
While a person who is “stuck” in terror is unable to do action against the danger, they are “very attentive,” according to the report. Tonic immobility or “flop” is another possible effect, which entails being fully physically or mentally inert, and may even result in fainting.
According to an Idaho law enforcement source, the delay in informing authorities perplexed investigators, who were unsure if it was “an issue of alcohol, or of fear.”