What we know: Police are investigating the killings at Idaho State University

It’s been more than a week since four Idaho State University students were found dead in their Moscow home. Since then, the Moscow Police Department and other agencies investigating the quadruple murder have been slow to release information to the public.

As of Monday evening, there were still no suspects in the killing and police had not yet recovered the weapon.

This was stated by the head of the Moscow police, James Fry last week that he could not confirm there was no threat to the public and urged people to “remain vigilant” and “monitor the environment at all times”.

More information about the case was released over the weekend and Monday, including the people Moscow police have cleared from the investigation and more details about the 911 call just before noon Sunday.

Here’s what we know at the moment.

What is known about the fourth death?

The four victims of the early Sunday killings were seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kayleigh Gonsalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.

All three women found dead were residents of a six-bedroom rental home in the 1100 block of King Road. One man, Chapin, met with Kernodle and stayed the night at the house.

The Latto County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death a homicide by stabbing one page report. Latto County Coroner Kathy Mabbatt said Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the weapon used must have been a “large knife” and that there was “a fair amount of blood”.

The statesman informed about this police were looking for a “Rambo-style knife” and visited several shops near Moscow, interested in various combat knives. One of the knives police were asking about was a Ka-Bar, which appears military grade blade.

Mabbut also said four students were killed “early in the morning” on Sunday. The coroner’s report did not include a time of death, although Moscow Mayor Art Bethge the Idaho Statesman previously said that it happened between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Sunday morning.

When police responded to a call about an unconscious person inside the home around noon Sunday, they arrived at the home to find four victims. Two victims were found on the second floor and two on the third, Moscow police Capt. Roger Lanier told reporters on Sunday. The police did not say who was where.

Autopsies confirmed that all four died of multiple stab wounds and were likely all asleep when the attacks took place. Some of the victims had defensive wounds.

At a news conference Sunday, Frye declined to say whether the attack was carried out by one person or multiple people, and could not say whether any of the four roommates were clearly targeted.

boi topper 1116 am
The four victims of the recent massacre at Idaho State University pose for a photo with two friends, whom the Statesman did not identify and chose to blur their faces. Above left is Madison Mogen, 21, on the shoulders of Kayleigh Gonsalves, also 21. Ethan Chapin, 20, hugged Zana Kernodle, 20, his girlfriend. Courtesy of Alivea Goncalves

Was anyone else in the house?

Two other roommates who lived in the house were there but were not injured. Lanier said both women were sleeping on the first floor at the time of the attack.

Moscow police posted information on Facebook saying the two surviving roommates woke up Sunday morning and called friends to the house because they believed one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and wasn’t waking up.

At 11:58 a.m. PT, a roommate’s cell phone called 911 asking for help for an unconscious person. According to the report, several people spoke to the 911 dispatcher.

Detectives said they do not believe any of the people inside the home when 911 were called were involved in the crime.

What were the victims doing the night before the murders?

Lanier provided further information about what happened Saturday night before the killings Sunday morning.

Kernodle and Chapin were at a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house — less than a mile from the King Road home — and returned home at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Gonsalves and Moden spent the evening at a bar called the Corner Club before stopping in a van downtown on their way home. Both girls also arrived home around 1:45 am

The two surviving roommates arrived home at about one in the morning

Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., several calls were made from Gonsalves’ and Modena’s cellphones to the man, who did not answer. Gonsalves’ sister, Avilea, said the calls were made to a man named Jack, who is a friend.

Who was cleared?

Detectives do not believe the two surviving roommates or any individuals called to the home Sunday morning were involved in the crime.

Police also cleared the man identified on surveillance video the Grub Truck food truck, the “private party” driver who drove Gonsalves and Mogen home early that morning, and the person Gonsalves and Mogen called.

The Latah County Sheriff’s Office also said an incident involving a knife attack by a dog elsewhere in Moscow was unrelated to the killings, though they did not say how they knew that. The husband of the state asked for additional information.

Advice on relevant information

Detectives are asking anyone who saw suspicious behavior, has surveillance video or can provide relevant information about the deaths to call the tip line at 208-883-7180.

The University of Idaho announced on Twitter that tips can be emailed to Moscow police at tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

The next police press conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. Pacific time in Moscow.

Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle
Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, the two students killed at Idaho State University, were known to have dated, according to Chapin’s mother. Maya Hippinstil

Kaylee Gonsalves and Madison Mogen
Kaylee Gonsalves (left) and Madison Mogen (right) were known to be close friends. A joint GoFundMe page has been set up for the two Idaho State University students, with proceeds going to the families of the two women. Maya Hippinstil

This story was originally published November 21, 2022 at 5:51 p.m.

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