Murders at the University of Idaho: November 23 press conference

Moscow police, Idaho State Police and university and city officials discussed the investigation and the tragedy Wednesday afternoon.

MOSCOW, Idaho — Ten Days after four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus house in Moscow, police have not identified any suspects or persons of interest. Police and community leaders continue to ask the public for advice and patience.

“We believe we owe it to the surviving families to get it right,” Idaho State Police Col. Kedrick Wills said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Moscow police, Idaho State Police and the FBI are among law enforcement investigating what ISP communications director Aaron Snell on Tuesday called “a very complex matter.” “.

In investigations like this, Wills said, after the crime scene is photographed and mapped, and the evidence collected from the scene, it is packaged and sent to a forensic lab to be analyzed.

“All of this takes an immense amount of time,” Wills said, adding later that over time investigators are able to process forensic evidence and deal with the hundreds of tips received.

The students killed were 20 years old Ethan Chapin, of Conway, Wash.; 21 years old Madison Mogen, from Coeur d’Alene; 20 years Xana Kernodlefrom Post Falls and 21 Kaylee GonVeaux, from Rathdrum. They were found dead around noon on Sunday November 13 in a three-story house on King Road, less than a mile from the U of I campus.

Investigators determined Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi fraternity house and GonCalves and Mogen were at the Corner Club before police believed they returned to King Road at 1:45 a.m. Chapin did not reside in this house.

Two other students who lived in the house survived the attack. Police believe one of them called 911 around 11:58 a.m. PT to seek help for an unconscious person. Shortly after the call, Moscow police responded and found the four victims on the second and third floors of the house. The identity of the 911 caller has not been released.

At Wednesday’s press conference, police urged anyone with information to come forward.

“No piece of information is too small and every clue will be prosecuted,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry. “So far, this information has helped investigators get a sense of the areas of interest and relationships these four had with each other and with our community.”

Wednesday’s press conference is available in full below:

Anyone with information is asked to call Moscow Police Tip Line at 208-883-7018 or email

Before and during Wednesday’s upcoming press conference, police said detectives were looking for further guidance and surveillance video of any “suspicious behavior observed” from the night of Nov. 12 until the early morning hours of Nov. 13. , while GonCalves and Mogen were in downtown Moscow. and while Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi house.

Police are looking for any outdoor surveillance video taken from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST on Sunday, Nov. 13, of businesses and residences in an area bounded by West Taylor Avenue to the north, West Palouse River Drive to the south, Highway 95 to the the east and the University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden to the west.

Here are some other notes on the investigation:

  • Investigators have not found the weapon, believed to be a fixed-blade knife. They searched the trash cans and contacted local business owners to see if anyone had recently purchased such a knife.
  • Police have not taken any suspects into custody.
  • Police do not believe the two surviving housemates of the King Road residence were involved in the crime. They also don’t believe a man seen in surveillance video near a food truck in downtown Moscow or the person who drove Goncalves or Mogen to their home were involved.
  • Detectives have determined that a report of a skinned dog near the house is unrelated to the student murders. The Latah County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the incident.
  • Moscow police said they were unable to corroborate reports that someone had stalked GonCalves. Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier said detectives “have not finished looking at this information”. KTVB contacted the Latah County Court Clerk and asked if any of the victims had filed protective orders. The clerk said that because these orders are sealed, there’s no way to know.

Speaking on behalf of the mayor, city council and city administration, Moscow Deputy City Supervisor Tyler Palmer said the city takes comfort in knowing that “those who want to help far outnumber those who want to do wrong”.

Palmer said community support and “continued acts of charity and humanity remind us why we live in this tight-knit, caring community.”

“Moscow is my home,” Palmer said, before pausing for a long time. “I know we won’t be defined by tragedy, but how we respond to it.”

The University of Idaho is currently on fall vacation. Classes are scheduled to resume on November 28. The university offers students the option of completing the remainder of the semester off-campus. Professors are preparing in-person and distance learning options.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Wednesday, November 30 at 5 p.m. PT at the Moscow University campus. Dean of Students Blaine Eckles said there are currently plans to install the lawn outside the administration building, but the exact location depends on weather conditions and has not been finalized.

Also on November 30, in sync with the Moscow Vigil, the University of Idaho Boise will hold a vigil scheduled for 6 p.m. MT at the University of Idaho Water Center, located at 322 E. Front St.

More resources for students and those who want to show their support are on the University of Idaho website.

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