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University of Idaho rallies around Chapin family upon return to 'new normal' on campus

Murder victim Ethan Chapin's two siblings returned to their Moscow campus Tuesday, and his parents are thanking supporters for their kindness.

SEATTLE — Bryan Kohberger, the Washington State University doctoral student accused of murdering four University of Idaho students, appeared before a judge Thursday and waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing.

In the meantime, the surviving loved ones of the four murder victims, while forever changed, continue working to forge ahead in their new normal.

One of those Idaho murder victims, as we've reported, was Ethan Chapin from Conway in Skagit County.

Ethan was a triplet. He and his brother and sister, Hunter and Maizie, were so close that they even went to the same college together.

This week, his two siblings returned to their Moscow campus, and their parents said on Facebook Wednesday that "their job now" is to "just be kids." She continued, "Start where they left off. Keep goals and aspirations in mind."

But they are not going it alone: they have the support of many within the Vandal community in Idaho-- and in Washington.

"Yesterday, we successfully dropped them off back at the University of Idaho," said Stacey Chapin in a Facebook post. "Hunter was very glad to be back at the fraternity and Maizie was warming up to the idea but it was so good to hear all of the girls squeal with delight upon seeing her. It did this momma’s heart good to hear it!"

One University of Idaho family, the Carters, are also from Western Washington. The mother, Elizabeth Carter, said she admires the strength of Ethan's parents.

"I give those parents so much credit. It tears me up a little bit, because I just don't know if I could've done that," Carter said.

Her daughter, Julia Carter, was involved in Greek life there, similar to the murder victims.

"It could have been any darn student," she said. "That's exactly how it is and how it feels."

Elizabeth Carter added, "I really hope that those kids feel the love of their Greek life families, just their friends and students."

Julia Carter also shared with KING 5 her reaction to the results of Kohberger's court appearance Thursday.

"It's tough to hear that it'll be slow-going," she said.

Meanwhile, the Chapin family is taking life one day at a time.

Stacy's Facebook post went on to say, "Maizie and Hunter are rock stars and we couldn’t be more proud of them."

The Chapins also said they are "eternally grateful" for the support and kindness shown to them by so many.

The parents added, "We’ve met with prosecutors, handled media inquiries (hopefully respectfully), managed, grieved, talked and continue to try and process our new normal... We spend no time being angry. That would be energy not well spent and it still wouldn't change the outcome. We have to look ahead."

The Chapins said Ethan "touched lives they had no idea existed. Ethan was incredible."

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