The University of Idaho murders
Four U of I students were found dead in an off-campus home on Sunday. Follow all our news here.
Authorities investigating the death of an Idaho State University student have yet to arrest a suspect, but they believe several people are not suspects, including the man who made the first 911 call and the man who was called by the two women who were killed. but who did not answer.
At a press conference on Sunday, Moscow Police Chief James Fry also declined to say which of the victims were on which floors of the three-story building where they died. Two of the four students were on the second floor and two were on the third floor, police said.
The press conference was the second personal address of the authorities to the public since then four students were fatally stabbed at an off-campus home a week earlier.
Others, who Moscow police Capt. Roger Lanier described as non-suspects, include two surviving roommates in the home, a man who was called by two of the victims, a hooded man seen in the video with the two victims and the man who drove them home. When asked by a reporter, Frye said that the person who called 911 is also not considered the killer.
The four victims of the early Nov. 13 slayings were seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kayleigh Gonsalves, 21, of Rathdrum, who were close friends; and junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash., who were dating. Three women lived in the house, and Chapin stayed overnight at Kernodle’s.
Lanier recounted what happened that night:
- Kernodle and Chapin were at the Sigma Chi fraternity house before returning home at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Moden and Gonsalves were at a local bar and then in a van in central Moscow before returning home, also around 1:45 a.m.
- The other two tenants of the house returned around one o’clock in the morning and did not wake up until morning, long after the attack.
- Several calls were made to the man “from Madison and Kaylee’s phone.” (Authorities previously confirmed that the calls were made after 2 a.m. and that the man, a friend, was asleep.)
- When a 911 caller reported an unconscious person two minutes before noon, police found four students dead, two on the second floor and two on the third.
- Autopsies later confirmed that they died of multiple stab wounds and that all were likely asleep when the attacks took place, although some of the victims were found to have defensive wounds suggesting they had struggled with their attacker. There were no signs of sexual assault, and no one was bound or gagged.
- At the start of the investigation, police checked local businesses to see if there were any any fixed blade knives was purchased. The weapon used in the crime has not yet been found.
- Detectives searched three nearby dumpsters for evidence, “but didn’t find anything in particular.”
Chief: We’ll release the 911 caller ID when we’re ready
Police have not released who called 911 at noon. “When we’re ready to release it, we will,” Fry said. Police also did not release the audio of the call.
Fry declined to say whether the attack was committed by one person and said he did not know why the attack did not wake up the other roommates.
Police still believe the attacks were targeted, but Fry said he “couldn’t say” if any of the four in particular were targeted.
Avoid Speculation, Says Idaho State Police Chief
“We appreciate the support of the community,” Lanier said. “We understand how stressful this is and will continue to work on this situation.”
Kedrick Wills, director of the Idaho State Police, said the agency, which works with the U of I, Moscow police and the FBI, is committed to solving “senseless killings.” He urged the public to avoid speculation and instead rely on official information.
“We know people want answers,” Wills said. “We want answers, too.”
University President: Some students will stay away
U of I President K. Scott Green said he recognizes that some students don’t want to return to campus anytime soon and want to finish the fall semester remotely.
“We are asking faculty to plan for both sets of students when they graduate this semester,” he said.
Surveillance video, surveillance still being sought
Investigators said they want additional surveillance of homes and businesses “in the geographic area” of West Taylor Avenue (north boundary), West Palouse River Drive (south), the 2700 block of US 95-2700 (east) and the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens ( west). . The target time is from 3 to 6 am on November 13th.
Business and Local Government Editor David Stutts contributed.
This story was originally published November 20, 2022 4:00 p.m.