MOSCOW, Idaho – As investigators skipped Thanksgiving celebrations to continue their search for a suspect in the unsolved murders of four University of Idaho students, a third unsolved stabbing in Northeast western Pacific has resurfaced with eerie similarities.
Reporters at a press conference on Wednesday asked the Moscow police on the possible connection between the student murders and an unsolved second stabbing, which left Travis Juetten dead and seriously injured his wife Jamilyn in Oregon.
The authorities say an intruder attacked the couple in their sleep around 3 a.m. on August 13, 2021.
Travis Juetten, 26, fought back but succumbed to his injuries. His wife, now 26, survived 19 stab wounds.
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“We are looking at all possibilities, and we have other agencies contacting us with other cases, things that we will follow up,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday. He said his office is aware of the case and is looking into it, but no official link has been established between the two cases.
The next morning, the Idaho Tribune reported that a third nearby attack shared similar characteristics.
Sandra Ladd, 71, was found dead at her home in Washougal, Wash., on June 14, 2020, according to Oregon Crime Stoppers. His death was ruled a homicide after the medical examiner found multiple stab wounds to his torso, Washougal Police said at the time.
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The two attacks happened 14 months apart but within 70 miles of each other. The locations are about a five-hour drive west of Moscow, Idaho.
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University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death in their sleep on November 13, 2022 between 3 and 4 a.m. at a rental house just off campus, police said.
Like the Juttens attack, the incident happened between 3 and 4 a.m. on the 13th of the month.
Details of the timing of Ladd’s death were not immediately clear. Her body was discovered at 4.30pm – in her bed, the Oregonian reported at the time.
In all three cases, no suspects have been identified.
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Aaron Snell, the Idaho State Police communications director, told Fox News Digital on Thursday that investigators will dig into any possible connection between the cases.
“Equivocally, even without asking anyone, our detectives will be aware of this,” he said. “They will look into the possibility of them being related…anything that would be a remote possibility as a connection will be something we will consider.”
He said investigators had “not ruled out any ideas or concepts” but it was too early to say for sure if any of the three cases shared a link.
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State, local and federal investigators spent the Thanksgiving holiday at work Thursday, searching for clues 11 days after the students were found dead at a gruesome crime scene just yards from campus.
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Two other roommates in the house, who slept on the ground floor, were not attacked, according to the police.
They have been ruled out as suspects, along with several other people who met some of the victims the night before their murder.
Moscow police said they believe the student murders were “targeted”, but they refused to elaborate.
No murder weapon has been recovered and investigators are asking anyone with surveillance video of the area to send it.
They were also reviewing reports that Goncalves had a stalker before the attack.
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“Kaylee mentioned having a stalker, but detectives were unable to corroborate the statement,” police said in a statement. “Investigators are asking anyone with information about a potential stalker or unusual cases to contact the whistleblower line.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the information line at 208-883-7180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.