Two weeks after the stabbing death of four University of Idaho students, dozens of local, state and federal investigators are working to determine who carried out the brutal attack.
After reviewing more than 1,000 tips and conducting nearly 150 interviews, investigators have yet to locate a suspect or discover the murder weapon, believed to be a fixed-blade knife.
The four students – Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21 – were found stabbed to death on November 13 at an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho. The killings shocked the campus community and the town of about 25,000 people, which has not seen a homicide since 2015.
Police believe the attack was targeted. Officials said that they have not ruled out the possibility that one person was involved in the killings.
On the night of the murders, Goncalves and Mogen were at the stadium, and Chapin and Kernodle were seen at a fraternity party. The two occupants of the home were at home when police were called to the home around noon the next day, although investigators do not believe they were involved in the death.
More than 260 digital tips, which may include photos and videos, have been submitted by the public to the FBI’s tip form, the Moscow Police Department said in a release Friday. The department is asking for tips or video footage of where the victims went that night, even if there is no visible movement or news.
“Investigators are also looking for additional tips and video surveillance of any unusual behavior on the night of November 12th through November 13th when Kaylee and Madison were in downtown Moscow and when Ethan and Xana were at the Sigma Chi house,” the release said. that said.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has committed nearly $1 million in federal emergency funds to help the ongoing investigation, Col. Kedrick Wills of the Idaho State Police said during a news conference earlier this week.
Here’s what we know from the research.
So far, using evidence gathered at the scene and a series of tips and interviews, investigators have been able to piece together a rough timeline and map of the group’s final hours.
Investigators believe that all four victims returned home at around 2 a.m. the night of the stabbing. Police said the two roommates had left Moscow that night, and returned to the house at 1am.
Police previously said Goncalves and Mogen returned home at 1:45 a.m., but updated the timeline Friday, saying digital evidence showed the couple returned at 1:56 a.m. after visiting the food truck and the drive home is a “party in itself.”
The next morning, the occupants “called friends to the residence because they believed one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and was not awake,” police said. he said in the release. Someone called 911 from inside the home at 11:58 a.m. using one of the roommates’ phones.
“The caller reported an unconscious person,” Moscow Police Chief Roger Lanier said Wednesday. “At that time the saint spoke to many people who were in the area.”
When police arrived, they found two victims on the second floor and two victims on the third floor. There was no sign of forced entry or damage, police said.
The coroner concluded that the four victims had been stabbed multiple times and were probably asleep when the attacks began. Some of the students had self-defense wounds, according to the Latah County Coroner.
At least 113 pieces of evidence were collected, about 4,000 crime scene photos were taken, and dozens of 3-D maps of the house were made, according to police. The police also collected the contents of three garbage cans in the street in case there is any evidence.
In an attempt to locate the murder weapon, investigators contacted local businesses to determine if a fixed blade knife had been purchased.
As the weeks went by without a named suspect or much progress in the case, rumors about the murders surfaced. Moscow police addressed the matter in a press release on Friday and tried to dispel some of the rumours.
“There are speculations, without factual support, that incite public fear and spread false truths. We recommend referring to official releases for accurate information and updated developments,” the release said.
Several people have been ruled out as suspects at this time, the police department said, including:
- Two people living in the room are left
- Other people in the house when 911 is called
- The person who sent Goncalves and Mogen home
- The man seen on surveillance video from the food truck visited by Goncalves and Mogen
- Another man Goncalves and Mogen called “many times” in the hours before their deaths
Police also said reports that the victims were bound or gagged are inaccurate and stressed that the identity of the 911 caller has not been released.