Idaho police urge public to remain vigilant after students killed in quadruple homicide and no suspects identified


Moscow, Idaho police are asking the public to remain vigilant after they provide new details about a quadruple homicide near the University of Idaho campus, including that two roommates were in the house where the students were killed at the time of the attack and the door to the house was open when officers arrived at the scene.

“We cannot say there is no threat to the community and, as we have stated, please remain vigilant, report any suspicious activity and always be aware of your surroundings,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry during a press conference Wednesday. Police previously said there was no threat to the community.

The new details on the investigation were released days after four University of Idaho students – Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves – were found dead at a bloody crime scene Sunday afternoon, shattering the sense of security for the small college community near the Idaho-Washington border.

Local police have been working with the Idaho State Police and the FBI, but still have no suspects, no motive and no weapons, worrying the city of 25,000 that hasn’t recorded a homicide since 2015, according to state data. State Police.

The crime has “affected all of us, the families, the University of Idaho, our community, our country and our officers,” Fry said.

“We are reviewing the videos that have been collected, but we ask citizens to contact us with any information that could be useful in this investigation,” he added.

Classes were canceled at the University of Idaho on Monday but have since resumed, according to university president Scott Green.

“A number of our students still want to go to class,” Green said Wednesday. “They get comfort from being with other students. They take comfort in interacting and keeping busy with their faculty and they take courses, workshops, some are working on their semester projects so we hear from them.

Green said the school “encourages students and employees to take care of themselves” as they head into Thanksgiving break.

In a statement Wednesday, Green said the school has “continuously pushed for as much information as possible, knowing we can’t interfere with the important work of a good investigation.”

“We just want justice for these victims,” ​​he said.

As the investigation continues, police have begun tracking a timeline of what happened in the hours leading up to the murders.

Chapin and Kernodle were at a party on campus Saturday night, while Mogen and Goncalves were at a downtown bar before everyone went home early Sunday, just after 1:45 a.m., Fry said.

Mogen and Goncalves were seen ordering from a late night food truck in Moscow that night, a live stream on Twitch from the Grub Truckers shows. The two approached the truck at around 1:41am, ordered food, and were seen chatting with each other and other people as they waited for their order.

Joseph Woodall, 26, who operates the truck, said the two students don’t appear to be in trouble or in danger.

All four of the victims were killed at some point in the early morning hours Sunday, Fry said, but there was no 911 call until noon. All four victims were stabbed with a knife, he said.

The boss did not disclose who called 911, but said two other housemates were at the house at the time of the deaths, neither of whom were injured or held hostage.

“We’re not just focusing on them, we’re focusing on everyone who might be coming and going from that residence,” he said.

The two housemates have been fully cooperative with law enforcement, Idaho State Police spokesman Aaron Snell told CNN Wednesday.

After a 911 call came in about an unconscious person, officers found the door to the house unlocked and a gruesome crime scene inside.

There was no evidence of forced entry, Fry said. “We’re not 100% sure the door was open. There was no damage to anything and the door was still open when we arrived,” Fry said.

Latah County Medical Examiner Cathy Mabbutt told CNN affiliate KXLY Tuesday that there was “a lot of blood in the apartment.”

“It was quite a traumatic scene to find four college students dead in a residence hall,” he said.

Mabbutt said autopsies could provide more information about what happened.

“There might be some, you know, some evidence of suspicion that we get during autopsies that would be helpful,” Mabbutt said.

(Clockwise from left) University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves.

Just hours before their deaths, Goncalves posted a photo of the foursome with the caption, “a lucky girl to be surrounded by these people every day,” adding a heart emoji.

The 21-year-old from Rathdrum, Idaho, was a senior general studies major and a member of Alpha Phi fraternity.

His older sister, Alivea Goncalves, sent a statement to the Idaho Statesman on behalf of her family and Mogen.

“They were smart, they were alert, they were observant and all of this was still happening,” she said. “No one is in custody and that means no one is safe. Yes, we are all heartbroken. Yes, we are all understanding. But stronger than any of these feelings is anger. We are angry. You should be angry.

Mogen, 21, was from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and had a degree in marketing. He was a member of the Pi Beta Phi fraternity.

Chapin, 20, was one of triplets, all enrolled at the University of Idaho, his family said in a statement. He was a freshman from Conway, Washington majoring in recreation, sports and tourism management. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

“Ethan lit up every room he walked into and was a kind, loyal, loving son, brother, cousin, and friend,” said his mother, Stacy Chapin. “Words cannot express the anguish and devastation our family is experiencing. It breaks my heart to know that we can never hug or laugh with Ethan again, but it’s also heartbreaking to think about the horrific way he was taken from us.”

Kernodle, 20, was from Avondale, Arizona. He was majoring in marketing and was a member of the Pi Beta Phi fraternity.

She was “positive, funny and loved by everyone who met her,” said her older sister, Jazzmin Kernodle.

“She was so carefree and always lifted a room,” said Jazzmin Kernodle. “She has made me such a proud big sister and I wish I could spend more time with her. She had so much life left to live. My family and I are speechless, confused and anxiously awaiting updates on the investigation.”

He also offered condolences to the other victims and their families. “My sister was so lucky to have them in her life.”

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