November 16, 2022

USA: 4 University of Idaho Students Found Dead In Their Home Near Campus. Investigators Still Processing The Gruesome Murder Scene. No Suspects Are In Custody. A Knife Was Used To Kill.

KREM 2 News published November 14, 2022: Here's what we know so far about the 4 University of Idaho students found dead near campus. KREM 2 is continuing to track this developing story. As of 6 p.m. on Nov. 14, no suspects have been identified as the community continues to reel from the events.
Today published Nov 16, 2022: New Details Emerge In Deaths Of 4 University Of Idaho Students. The community of Moscow, Idaho, is grieving the loss of four University of Idaho students who police say were viciously murdered near campus. With many unanswered questions, and no arrest, some residents say they now fear for their own safety. NBC’s Gadi Schwartz reports for TODAY. 
KREM 2 News published November 15, 2022: Latah County Coroner says all four students killed near University of Idaho were victims. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told KREM 2 that all four students killed in a home near the University of Idaho are homicide victims. She does not believe it was a murder-suicide.

FOX5 News, New York local
written by Rebecca Boone and Nicholas K. Geranios
Tuesday November 15, 2022

MOSCOW, Idaho - The killer — or killers — responsible for the brutal slayings of four University of Idaho students remained at large Tuesday, prompting many students to leave the campus in the idyllic small town despite police assurances that there was no imminent risk to the community.

So many students had left the scenic tree-lined campus in Moscow, Idaho, by Tuesday that university officials said a candlelight vigil scheduled for the next day would instead be held after the Thanksgiving break.

The students were found dead in an off-campus rental home around noon on Sunday, and officials said they likely were killed several hours earlier. Police said the students had been attacked with a knife or other "edged weapon," but did not elaborate.

The Moscow Police Department has not said whether investigators have identified any suspects, but maintained in a statement that the killings came in "an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large." Police also said evidence from the scene indicates there is no broader risk, but provided no information about that evidence nor why they believe the victims were targeted.

The department said investigators were working to establish a timeline of the victims’ activities before they were killed. Autopsies expected to be completed this week could provide more information about the slayings.

Investigators were "following all leads and identifying persons of interest" in the case, the police statement said.

Police responding to a report of an unconscious person at the home Sunday discovered the students’ bodies. The victims were identified as Ethan Chapin, a 20-year-old from Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, a 21-year-old from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, from Rathdrum, Idaho. Authorities have not described which, if any, of the victims lived in the home.

Photos on Instagram how the four as close-knit, longstanding friends. All were members of sororities or fraternities. Kernodle and Chapin were dating.

In one post, Kernodle wished Chapin a happy birthday, writing, "life is so much better with you in it, love you!" The caption was accompanied by a photo of Chapin in a chef’s hat with Kernodle on his shoulders and wearing mouse ears.

Several weeks ago, Goncalves posted a series of photos showing her and Mogan growing up together. "I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be the main character in all my childhood stories," she wrote.

"I love you more than life! My best friend forever and more," Mogen replied.

Another photo, apparently posted hours before they died, showed the four smiling and posing, seemingly carefree, along with two other friends. Chapin had his arm draped over Kernodle’s shoulders, and Mogen was perched on Gonclaves’ shoulders.

"One lucky girl to be surrounded by these people every day," Goncalves wrote.

Signs of the community’s grief and uncertainty were scattered throughout the small farming town on Tuesday. Moscow has about 26,000 residents but that population swells by about 11,000 when the students arrive.

A makeshift memorial with flowers, candles and notes was set up on a table in front of the Mad Greek restaurant in downtown Moscow where Kernodle and Mogen had worked. Four white pillar candles, each inscribed with the name of a slain student, burned in the center of the table.

The restaurant’s owner wrote on Facebook that Mad Greek would close for a few days so staffers, friends and family could grieve "this incredible loss."

"Xana and Maddie have been servers here for several years and brought so much joy to our restaurant and all of those they encountered," the owner, Jackie Fischer, wrote. "You will be greatly missed. Thank you for being a part of our family/team, and for helping me so much over the years."

A flag flew at half-staff before the Sigma Chi fraternity, where Chapin was a member, just a short walk from the home where the four died.

The six-bedroom rental home remained surrounded by crime scene tape on Tuesday but had little sign of activity inside. A Latah County Sheriff’s deputy stood guard near the driveway, and Idaho State Police officers were also at the scene.

Moscow police Captain Anthony Dahlinger said police were "trying to identify a suspect" but would not say if investigators had anyone in mind.

"These things are dynamic and constantly changing," Dahlinger said.

The University of Idaho canceled classes on Monday and said additional security staffers would be available to walk students across campus. Still, the lack of arrests and scarcity of information about the deaths prompted many to leave days before the Thanksgiving break was scheduled to begin.

The students who remained showed little sign of apprehension.

"I feel pretty safe," said student Nicole June on Tuesday. "I believe the police can do their job."

Nathan Lannigan, 18, said he was surprised with reports that there is no ongoing threat since a perpetrator has not been captured.

"That’s a quick judgement, I think," Lannigan said.

In a Monday memo, University of Idaho President Scott Green urged university employees to be empathetic and flexible, and work with students who wanted to spend time with their families.

"Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought to this world or ease the depth of suffering we feel at their passing under these tragic circumstances," Green wrote of the slain students.

The university said Chapin was a freshman, and Kernodle was a junior majoring in marketing and a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Mogen was a senior also majoring in marketing who belonged to Pi Beta Phi, and Goncalves was a senior majoring in general studies and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, the university said.

UPDATE 11/16/22 at 8:13pm: Added info below.
KTVB published November 16, 2022: Moscow police hold news conference about student deaths. Police chief said the suspect is still out there but he doesn't believe there's a threat to the community.
written by Staff
Thursday November 16, 2022 at 7:26 PM EST

MOSCOW, Idaho — The Moscow Police Department (MPD) has been tight-lipped since the beginning of the homicide investigation into the four University of Idaho students killed near campus but has now delivered major updates to the public in a press conference held Wednesday.

Four University of Idaho students were found dead in a home on King Road Sunday afternoon. The students have been identified as Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.

Moscow Police initially said the four students were killed with a "sharp-edged object," later revealed to be a knife. The weapon has not been recovered.

Police have not identified a suspect in the student's deaths and have released little information about the investigation to the public. Wednesday's press conference was the first time police spoke about the ongoing investigation with the public.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry, Idaho State Police (ISP) Director Colonel Kedrick Wills and University of Idaho President Scott Green were all present at the press conference.

"The reality is, I probably should have been standing here a day or so ago," Fry said. "But I'm here now. We're going to continue to give you the information we can share about this case."

Here's what Moscow police know at this time:
  • On Saturday evening, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were at a party on campus, away from the crime scene. Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were at a bar and came home at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Sunday morning.
  • Police responded to a report of an unconscious person at a house near campus just before noon on Sunday.
  • When police arrived, they found the four victims and two other people, both uninjured, who lived in the home.
  • The victims had all been stabbed with a knife.
  • Officers found no sign of forced entry into the residence. When the police arrived, the door was still open.
  • There was no attempt at a robbery.
  • Officers continue to reiterate that this was an isolated, targeted attack.
  • There is no suspect at this time. Police also said they could no longer say there was no threat to the community.
  • The roommates of the victims were in the home at the time of the attack and were not hurt.
What police do not know:
  • An accurate timeline of where the victims were before their deaths.
  • The location of the suspect or the weapon.
  • If the victims were killed with the same weapon.
  • Why the two other roommates were not injured.
A video circulating online appears to show Maddie and Kaylee ordering from a food truck hours before they were killed. Fry said investigators are aware of the video and are using it to help form a timeline of events leading up to their deaths.

Photos: 2 University of Idaho homicide victims seen on camera

More than 25 investigators with MPD, ISP, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Latah County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact MPD at 208-883-7180.

No comments: