AP

Idaho Police: No suspect, no weapon in killing of 4 students

Nov 16, 2022, 6:17 PM

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Police in the college town of Moscow, Idaho, said Wednesday they have not identified a suspect or found a weapon in the weekend slayings of four University of Idaho students in a rental house near campus.

Authorities continue to believe the attack was targeted but walked back a previous statement that there was no threat to the public.

“Investigators are working to follow up on all the leads and identify a person of interest,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said at a news conference. “We do not have a suspect at this time, and that individual is still out there. We cannot say that there is no threat to the community.”

Some of the victims’ family members have been urging police to release more information about the killings and to reveal why they said there was no ongoing danger.

All four victims were stabbed with a knife, Fry said. There was no sign of forced entry, and a door was found open by the first police officers to arrive. Two other people were found alive and unhurt in the home.

“I’m not going to go into what they shared,” Fry said.

The victims — three women and one man, all close friends — were found dead Sunday afternoon by police responding to a report of an unconscious person at the home. Officials said they were likely killed several hours earlier..

They were identified as Madison Mogan, 21, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, from Rathdrum, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona; and Ethan Chapin, 20, from Conway, Washington.

The family of Goncalves issued a warning to whoever was behind the killings.

“To whomever is responsible, we will find you. We will never stop. The pain you caused has fueled our hatred and sealed your fate,” the family said in a tweeted statement. “Justice will be served.”

Moscow is a town of about 25,000 in the Idaho Panhandle, about 80 miles south of Spokane, Washington.

News of the slayings prompted many of the 11,000 students to leave the Idaho campus early for Thanksgiving break.

Aubrie Goncalves, Kaylee’s sister, posted a message on Instagram Wednesday urging any remaining students to leave.

“Your grades are severely less important than your lives. I wish all the students of U of I safety and peace,” she wrote a few hours before the police news conference. “You guys are not safe until this sicko is found. If the person who did this is capable of killing four innocent people, they are capable of killing more.”

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Idaho Police: No suspect, no weapon in killing of 4 students