SEATTLE — Xana Kernodle, who was killed in an off-campus house near the University of Idaho in November, was remembered by her family for being "positive, funny and loved by everyone."
Jazzmin Kernodle, who is Kernodle’s older sister, said Kernodle, 20, was loved by many and had the best friends surrounding her.
“You rarely get to meet someone like Xana,” Jazzmin Kernodle said in a statement to KING 5’s sister station in Spokane. “She was so positive, funny and was loved by everyone who met her. She was so lighthearted, and always lifted up a room. She made me such a proud big sister, and I wish I could have had more time with her. She had so much life left to live."
Kernodle was found stabbed to death Nov. 13 alongside fellow University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Ethan Chapin. Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Washington State University Ph.D. student, was charged with their murders.
Kernodle was originally from Avondale, Ariz., but moved to Post Falls, Idaho, which is about 25 miles east of Spokane.
She was a junior at the University of Idaho majoring in marketing at the College of Business and Economics. She was also a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Before going to the University of Idaho, Kernodle attended Post Falls High School. Kernodle played volleyball, track and soccer until she graduated, according to an obituary in the Bonner County Daily Bee. For her graduation in 2020, she decorated her mortarboard with flower and butterfly cutouts and the words, “For The Lives That I Will Change.”
Kernodle had worked as a server at the Mad Greek restaurant in Moscow for several years along with Mogen.
Kernodle loved her dog, Shoeshine, electronic dance music and going on family trips with her sister and father, according to her obituary.
In December, Jazzmin Kernodle said at a memorial service that her little sister loved living in Moscow with her friends. Kernodle shared the rental house with Mogen, Goncalves and two other roommates who survived the attack.
"Losing her is the hardest thing I ever have to go through and has left me heartbroken," Jazzmin said. "I know she loved living in her house in Moscow with her friends. I hear so many stories of her and her roommates and made me so happy to know she had such great friendships."
Kernodle was dating Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash., who was a freshman at the University of Idaho. Kernodle and Chapin were friends before they became a couple, Chapin’s mother told the Associated Press. By this summer, Kernodle was spending time with the entire Chapin family.
In December, Kernodle’s family started a memorial endowment in Kernodle’s name to fund scholarships for University of Idaho students. In a Facebook post, Kernodle’s family said they hoped to honor Kernodle’s memory and keep her legacy alive. People can donate online here.
What happened the night of the murders
On Nov. 12, Kernodle and Chapin attended a Sigma Chi fraternity party together. They went back to Kernodle’s rental house on King Road at about 1:45 a.m.
Kernodle received a DoorDash delivery at about 4 a.m., according to a probable cause affidavit. Phone records show Kernodle was using TikTok on her cellphone at 4:12 a.m.
Investigators believe the four students were killed between 4 a.m. and 4:25 a.m.
Later that day, Kernodle and Chapin were found dead in the same room on the second floor of the house.