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November 22, 2022
Reports of students fleeing the campus of the University of Idaho have emerged, following the slaying of four students by an unknown killer who is still at large.
The bodies of four slain students were discovered in an off-campus rental home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho following a 911 call at 11:58am on Sunday November 13, 2022. The caller, who remains unnamed in the media at the time of writing, reportedly alerted police to an “unconscious individual.” Investigators have not confirmed if the caller is a suspect or remained at the scene when they arrived.
Other friends of the victims were said to have arrived at the property around the time of the call.
Xana Kernodle, 20, Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were all found stabbed to death inside the property. It is estimated that they were killed between 3am – 4am on Sunday November 13.
Two of the victims were found on the second floor, the other two victims were found on the third floor. The victims were found with defensive wounds to their bodies. Investigators would go on to describe it as the worst crime scene they had ever seen. Some photographs from the crime scene shows blood dripping down the outside wall of the property.
It has been reported that two additional female housemates, who were also residents of the six-bedroom house, were home at the time of the killing. Neither are suspects, nor witnesses to the crime, and both are unharmed and uninjured. Police say there was no sign of forced entry to the property but could not be certain that the door to the home was not left unlocked.
The murder weapon has not yet been recovered.
Police Chief James Fry of the Moscow Police said: “We are looking at everyone, every tip we get, every lead we get, there’s no one that we’re not gonna talk to. There’s no one that we’re not gonna interview, there’s no one that we’re not gonna look into.”
Although there isn't yet a suspect, police have said that the "sloppy killer left behind a mess of evidence." So much evidence in fact, that documenting it is predicted to be a lengthy process. It’s not clear if police have obtained the killers DNA from the scene, but it has been reported that a mobile unit has been set up at the house.
Hours before their deaths, Kernodle, Chapin, Mogen and Goncalves had posted to their social media accounts following a night out. They posted a group picture expressing how happy they were to be together again after school break.
The night they were murdered, Kernodle and Chapin, who were a couple, had attended an on-campus Sigma Chi Party at 735 Nez Perce Drive. It is believed that the victims were involved with fraternities and sororities on campus.
Goncalves and Mogen had spent the evening at a bar downtown, Corner Club on Main Street, arriving home at around 1:45am.
Twitch livestream footage shows Mogen and Goncalves at a food truck, Grub Truck on 318 South Main Street waiting for their order of one portion of carbonara pasta, shortly before they were murdered. Although there are others lining up or waiting in the vicinity, online sleuths following the case have highlighted one unidentified male wearing a baseball cap and jacket with the hood up. The man appears to be standing close to the girls and is said to interact with them at one point.
Police have stated that they are working to identify each person in the footage.
"Mysterious" calls said to have been made by both Goncalves and Mogan to an unidentified man that night is said to be unconnected to the murders. Goncalves parents told the media that they believe Mogan was calling an ex-boyfriend, Jack, adding that they did not believe he had any involvement.
Kaylee Goncalves mother told the media: “Jack is just as distraught as we are. Jack is our family. Jack is 1,000%. 2,000% our family, and Jack is with us, and we stand behind him 100%.” The pair had dated for a few years before going on a break and was a close family friend. Goncalves’ mother believed the two would have eventually married and had children together and asked police to stop looking into Jack as a suspect.
Mogen and Goncalves made then phone calls to Jack between the hours of 2:30am and 3:00am.
Both Kernodle and Mogen worked part time at the Mad Greek restaurant in Moscow and had done so for around four years.
According to reports, Art Bettge, the mayor of Moscow, Idaho, dubbed the crime, a crime of passion. He said: “With a crime of this magnitude, it’s very difficult to work through. The overall assessment is that it’s a crime of passion.”
Bettge later elaborated: “It could be any of a number of things. The police don’t know yet. I haven’t been told.”
Police have not confirmed this statement and Latah County coroner, Cathy Mabbutt, stated that the deaths were homicides, and not murder-suicide as has been speculated.
Although there are, at the time of writing, no suspects, and no arrests have been made in the quadruple homicide, police have asked the public to remain calm and refer to the killings as “an isolated, targeted attack” that poses "no imminent threat to the community at large". Despite this statement from the police, parents have been picking up their children from the university while the investigation is ongoing.
Following criticism online, Chief Fry later stated: “We cannot say there’s no threat to the community and as we have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
January 17, 2023