One of the University of Idaho students massacred in the November quadruple homicide had recently left the home where the murders took place, but returned the day before the attack to see her former roommate and attend a party, her parents said.
Kaylee Goncalves, 21, was ready to graduate college early with an IT job lined up in Austin, Texas, her parents, Kristi and Steve, tell Dateline.
Gonçalves had recently moved out of the three-story house in Moscow, Idaho, where he lived with his best friend, 21-year-old Madison Mogen.
“These girls were best friends since sixth grade, like inseparable,” said Kristi Gonçalves. “Maddie was a huge part of our lives.”
The bereaved parents said that Kaylee had just bought a new Range Rover and wanted to show it to Mogen in Moscow. She also had plans to attend a nearby party.
“That was the last I saw of Kaylee,” her mother said.
In the early hours of November 13, Gonçalves and Mogen were stabbed to death in the off-campus home, along with Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, a doctoral student in criminology at nearby Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., was arrested in Albrightsville, Pa., Dec. 30 and charged with four first-degree murders when he returned to Idaho. He potentially faces the death penalty.
The sheath of a Ka-Bar knife believed to have been used in the attack was recovered near the bodies of Kaylee Gonçalves and Mogen, according to a police statement released earlier this month. Kohberger was identified as a suspect by the DNA he left on the hem button.
The Goncalves told Dateline that they hoped their daughter in the struggle with the assailant had stolen the scabbard and played a role in identifying her killer.
“I just said, ‘Do you believe this?’” said Kristi Gonçalves, reporting having read the details of the report. “And I said, ‘I hope maybe it’s a fight, she got that from him, in the fight or whatever…’”
Steve Gonçalves added: “It’s a checkmate moment. And our girls were part of it.
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