- Authorities still have no motive or weapon in the fatal stabbing of four Idaho college students.
- The killings, says the police captain, ‘in a way took away our innocence.’
- Officers collected 100 pieces of evidence, 4,000 photographs, 1,000 tips and spoke to 150 people.
More than a week after four University of Idaho students were fatally stabbed at their home, authorities are making a public appeal for help because they have not identified a suspect or found the murder weapon.
Moscow Police Capt. Roger Lanier told a news conference on Wednesday that his department was putting all its resources into solving the case and that investigators were prepared to work through the Thanksgiving holiday.
“This is our top priority. It will continue to be our top priority,” Lanier said while updating the public on the investigation that rocked the campus. “We owe it to the families.”
What residents, especially students, must do is also Lanier, a college town of about 26,000 residents near the Idaho-Washington state border where there have been no murders in nearly 5 years.
Lanier said Moscow, Idaho, has always been a safe community, but students should probably travel in pairs, and tell someone when they leave and arrive at their destination because of plans to increase police presence on campus. Is.
“In some ways, it took away our innocence,” Lanier said. “I would say to students that you need to be with a friend. I know university staff are looking at various options to increase some security on campus.
“Going forward,” Lanier continued, “there are a lot of things that we probably wish we would have done earlier that we need to start doing now.”
a timeline:Four University of Idaho students were murdered in their beds while they slept: What we know
The victims were homeowner Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, Post Falls, Idaho; Madison Mogen, 21, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Ethan Chapin, 20, Mount Vernon, Washington. The bodies of the students were found on November 13, when police were called to their off-campus rental home.
Lanier said investigators are looking for what they believe is “a certain blade or knife used in the murder”.
Idaho State Police Col. Cedric Wills said investigators are working around the clock. They have collected more than 100 pieces of evidence and 4,000 photographs, processed more than 1,000 tips and conducted “multiple 3D scans” of the house where the stabbing took place. He also interacted with around 150 people.
Wiles expressed hope that the figures would help provide a frustrated and concerned community desperate for answers with “a little perception of how complex the matter is”.
“We understand you want answers. We want answers too,” Wiles said. “Please be patient as this investigation unfolds.”
Moscow Police Chief James Fry said he believed there was more information to be gathered that would create a window into the case. “We all want to understand why this happened and what someone did to make this happen,” Fry said. The families of those involved and our entire community deserve to know.”
During the news conference, Lanier again laid out the timeline of the stabbing and also said that authorities have ruled out other people they believe were not involved in the attack.
Those people include two surviving roommates living in the house, a man who was “seen in a grub truck video circulating the internet,” showing Goncalves and Mogen and a “private party” that took Goncalves and Mogen home. fired from, Lanier said.
A targeted attack:Police say 4 University of Idaho students were killed with a ‘sharp weapon’
Lanier said authorities have ruled out “anyone who spoke to the dispatcher on the 911 call” as the suspect and a man “Kelly and Madison called multiple times”.
“Detectives have toured the neighborhood looking for evidence, physical evidence, video surveillance, and they’ve contacted several residents who may have seen or heard anything,” Lanier said.
Lanier said detectives have looked into information that Goncalves “may have had a stalker and have been unable to corroborate the statement,” though they continue to look into it. Lanier also said that none of the reports of the victims being “bound or strangled are accurate.”
Wills also confirmed that Idaho Gov. Brad Little is providing up to $1 million in investigative costs.
At the news conference, University of Idaho President Scott Green said that support from the community and alumni has been overwhelming and that there will be a candlelight march on November 30 to honor the victims.