Frustration surrounds murder of four University of Idaho students

Dec 5, 2022, 4:16 PM
Idaho murders...

FILE - A photo and the names of four University of Idaho students who were killed over the weekend at a residence near campus are displayed during a moment of silence, Nov. 16, 2022, before an NCAA college basketball game in Moscow, Idaho. The Moscow Police Department has yet to name a person of interest in the stabbing deaths of the students . (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho (UI) students continues without an arrest or a weapon found.

“At this time, no suspect has been identified, and only vetted information that does not hinder the investigation will be released to the public,” Moscow Police Department (MPD) said in a statement released to the media Monday.

EXPLAINER: Killings of 4 Idaho students fuel online sleuths

Two other roommates were believed to be in the house at the time. Police said they are not suspects in the case.

MPD is working with the Idaho State Police and the FBI on the investigation.

The department released a statement on Monday detailing topics they said were appropriate to disclose.

Police believe incident was targeted attack

Police said they had not changed their belief that the murders were a targeted attack. However, investigators have not concluded if the target was the residence or its occupants.

Despite demands and requests from the public, police want everyone to understand why more information has yet to be released. According to MPD, any information that might influence the integrity of the investigation will not be released.

This has led to frustration among family members and UI students, many of whom have yet to return to class.

The murders happened the night of Nov. 13 at the Sigma Chi house on the UI campus.

Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylee Goncalves were found dead in what the local mayor described as a “crime of passion.”

Investigators determined Chapin and Kernodle were seen at the Sigma Chi house on the University of Idaho campus at 735 Nez Perce Drive. At approximately 1:45 a.m., Chapin and Kernodle were believed to have returned to the residence at 1122 King Road. It was previously reported that Chapin resided at the home; however, it has been determined that he was only visiting.

The coroner determines deaths were by stabbing

Autopsies were conducted Nov. 17. The Latah County Coroner confirmed the identity of the four murdered individuals and their cause of death as homicide by stabbing.

The coroner stated the four victims were likely asleep. Some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault.

Thousands of tips being reviewed

MPD has reported the department is processing more than 2,645 emailed tips, 2,770 phone tips, and 1,084 digital media submissions.

Part of the media release said some tips have led to information about a possible stalker.

Investigators have identified an incident involving Kaylee at a local business, which may have been the stalker reference she made to friends and family. In mid-October, two males were seen inside a local business; they parted ways, and one male appeared to follow Kaylee inside the business and as she exited to walk toward her car. The male turned away, and it did not appear he made any contact with her. Detectives contacted both males and learned the two were attempting to meet women at the business, this was corroborated through additional investigation. Based on available information, detectives believe this was an isolated incident and not an ongoing pattern of stalking. No evidence suggests the two males were involved in the murders.

Police said many questions and tips have been coming in about the dog found at the murder scene.

“Officers did not find any evidence on the dog, and there was no indication the animal had entered the crime scene,” police said. “The dog was taken to Animal Services and released to a responsible person.”

While the dog was in the house when officers arrived, it has not been determined where the dog was physically located when the murders took place.

Police want the public’s help in the investigation. You can reach them at their Tip Line: 208-883-7180, email: tipline@ci.moscow.id.us, and online.

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Frustration surrounds murder of four University of Idaho students