Inside the investigation into who killed 4 students in Moscow, Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

Nine days ago the murder of four students attending the University of Idaho, police have not arrested any suspects, but are “certainly making progress,” according to an outside information officer.

“It takes a while to piece together and piece together this whole timeline of events and the picture of what really happened,” said Aaron Snell, director of communications for the Idaho State Police. “A lot of this is not seen by the public because it is a criminal investigation. But I guarantee you that behind the scenes there is so much work going on.

This work includes interviews with more than 90 people as detectives examine more than 700 leads.

But Moscow, a city of around 26,000, hasn’t recorded a murder since 2015. The quadruple homicide rocked the small university community, and the anxieties have only increased with the permanent lack of answers.

Much of the information in the case will ultimately be used for prosecution purposes and cannot be made public, risking obstructing justice at the very end, Snell said.

But the limited details available to the public and confusion over initial police statements did not allay the concerns of the community.

Moscow police initially told the public that the attack was targeted, with no further threat to the public. But on day four, Chief Constable Jason Fry adjusted that statement: “We cannot say there is no threat to the community.”

Snell acknowledges that early messages may have been turned off, given that the approximately 30 members of the Moscow Police Department all initially responded to the crime scene, with no dedicated public information personnel within the department.

Within days, the department had to bring in outside resources to help with the investigation, including Snell.

In addition to the hundreds of leads, police are also combing through large files of surveillance footage submitted by residents in the early hours of the morning when police believe the murders took place.

“This is a very big operation, a very big investigation and it’s a very terrible crime,” Snell said.

Other angles take longer to study. It is believed that a fixed blade knife was used in the attack on the students, and to aid the investigation law enforcement has asked local businesses to provide evidence that a fixed blade knife had been purchased. On Tuesday, Snell says no local business has provided information that a knife matching this description has been purchased or obtained.

Any time a person or persons responsible for such a violent crime have yet to be arrested, there is a threat to the public, Snell said.

“We recognize that it is always wise for people to lock their doors, to walk in pairs, to be mindful of what they are doing. There is someone or people out there who are murderers, and we want to find them and bring them to justice,” Snell said.

He told CNN there could be more than one person responsible for the murders. He also reiterated that police still believe it was a targeted attack, in part because of evidence found at the scene and the fact that two people in the house survived.

Some students have since left the area to take classes remotely, telling CNN that police statements were not reassuring.

The president of the University of Idaho said on Tuesday that many students gave the school information about how they hoped to proceed after the fall break, which led to the decision to allow students to complete the remainder of the semester in person or remotely.

In his message, University of Idaho President Scott Green said, “Professors have been asked to prepare in-person and distance learning options so that each student can choose their method. commitment for the last two weeks of the semester. Moving courses entirely online is not preferable but may be necessary in limited situations.

However, other members of the community, including the victim’s mother Ethan Chapin, have shown patience and gratitude for the work of the police department.

At a memorial on Monday evening, Stacy Chapin thanked the “Moscow Police Department, which now carries the burden every day not just for us, but for all affected families.”

In the absence of details, rumors about the case multiplied, forcing the police to dispel them publicly, one by one.

“As people are out there talking about this case, the public sentiment is changing,” Snell said. “They are confused. They are upset. We want to try to dispel rumours, and we want to try to make sure the truth is out there.

goncalves family

‘In denial’: Father and siblings of Idaho victim speak to CNN about investigation

Investigators “thoroughly” reviewed hundreds of records of victim Kaylee Goncalves having a stalker, but “were unable to verify or identify a stalker.” police said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Earlier, police said surviving housemates and friends who called 911 and spoke to dispatchers were ruled out of involvement as suspects. A man seen on surveillance video standing near two of the victims was also cleared as a suspect, along with a driver who drove two of the victims home.

And the report of a “skinned” dog three weeks before the killing is unrelated to the case, police say.

Moscow police said on Monday that a dog was found at the home of the stab wounds, but “the dog was unharmed and handed over to animal services and then handed over to a responsible party.”

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