Moscow police: Killer of 4 UI students on the loose

Investigators do not have a suspect in the deaths of four University of Idaho students found Sunday in a home near campus.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry told a news conference Wednesday afternoon that detectives believe the killings were a “targeted, isolated” attack. But he stressed that they have not yet found the murder weapon and have no suspect.

“We can’t say there’s no threat to the community,” Fry said at a news conference attended by more than 40 local and national media Wednesday afternoon. “We still believe this is a targeted attack. But the reality is that there is still a man who has committed four very terrible, terrible crimes.

Until the press conference, police declined to answer questions related to the slayings of Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20. Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle were roommates. The Latta County Medical Examiner ruled all four deaths homicides. Autopsies were performed Wednesday, Fry said.

Other people were home at the time of the murders and when police arrived at the scene. Frye said the people inside the home were not injured during the attack. He declined to say whether they were able to provide information about the attacks.

On Saturday night, Chapin and Kernodle were together at a different party on campus, Frye said. Mogen and Goncalves were at a downtown bar together and returned home sometime after 1:45 a.m. Sunday, he said, confirming that the women were seen on a Twitch live stream getting food from a local food truck.

Investigators believe the students were killed in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police were called to the home around noon Sunday when someone reported an unconscious person.

Fry said the four students were stabbed, but police did not find a weapon. He said there were no signs of forced entry and the door to the home was open when police arrived. There was no indication anything was missing from the home, Frye said.

Frye said the people in the home were not held hostage at the time of the incident. He declined to say who called 911.

Aaron Snell, director of communications for the Idaho State Police, said the people in the house were “fully cooperative with the investigation” and investigators have not determined whether weapons other than a knife were used in the attack.

Fry urged the community to “remain vigilant.”

“We all need to be aware of our surroundings and watch out for each other,” Fry said.

He said 25 or more investigators from Moscow police, the Latah County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho State Police and the FBI are working on the case.

“We are providing all the resources we can to make sure this comes to a conclusion and that the person or people who are responsible are brought to justice,” said Idaho State Police Colonel and Director Kedrick Wills.

University of Idaho students and victims’ families expressed frustration Tuesday at the lack of information released to the public. Many students left Moscow early for the Thanksgiving break.

“The reality is, I probably should have stayed here a day or two ago,” Frye said. “But I’m here now. We will continue to be here.”

Snell is taking over communications related to the incident.

UI President K. Scott Green said the university will support students who decide to leave campus. He added that officials decided not to cancel classes because many students preferred to stay.

“For us, this crime and the loss of these young lives is just incomprehensible,” said Green, who fought back tears before wiping one away at one point. “While our small community is certainly not immune to such things, this is not a situation our tight-knit campus is used to dealing with.”

Green said the four students are “bright lights in our community.”

Some students who stayed in Moscow to attend classes said they questioned whether they were safe on campus.

Blaine Eccles, the UI’s dean of students, said the university has increased campus safety patrols since the killings. Campus Safety Officers are available to escort students onto campus.

Investigators are continuing to collect evidence, review video footage and establish a timeline of events, Frye said. He asked anyone with information related to the case to call a tip line at (208) 883-7180.

#Moscow #police #Killer #students #loose

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button