4 University of Idaho students were likely killed with an “edged weapon,” police say; no suspects in custody

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Police: 4 University of Idaho students found dead on campus


Police: 4 University of Idaho students found dead on campus

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Investigators believe a sharp weapon was used in the deaths of four Students from the University of Idaho, police said on Tuesday. Officials said all four students, who were found dead in a home near campus on Sunday, are considered victims in the case.

No weapons have been located so far, police said, but based on preliminary information “investigators believe a sharp weapon such as a knife was used,” Moscow Police Chief Anthony Dahlinger said in a statement. There are no suspects in custody.

Autopsies to be completed later this week may provide more information on the exact cause of death.

Police discovered the students’ bodies just before noon on Sunday when they responded to a report of an unconscious person in a home a block from the campus in Moscow, Idaho. The victims were identified as Ethan Chapin, a 20-year-old from Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, a 21-year-old from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Moscow police are labeling the deaths as “homicides” but insist there is no active risk to the community.

The university said Chapin was a freshman and member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and Kernodle was a junior marketing major and member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Mogen was a senior majoring in marketing and a member of Pi Beta Phi, and Goncalves was a senior with general studies and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, the university said. The university also listed a different place of residence for Chapin and Kernodle than the cities listed in the Moscow Police Department publication: The school said Chapin was from Mount Vernon, Washington, and Kernodle was from Post Falls, Idaho.

Mogen and Kernodle worked at Mad Greek, a family-owned business just over a mile from the home where the students were found, the establishment said on Facebook. The owners wrote a heartfelt tribute to the two students.

It is with a broken heart and deep sadness to share with you that we have lost two of our own here at Mad Greek. Xana…

Posted by Mad Greek on Monday, November 14, 2022

“Xana and Maddie have been servers here for several years and brought so much joy to our restaurant and all those they encountered,” the restaurant wrote, noting that Mogen had also managed much of their social media. “… You will be sorely missed. Thank you for being part of our family/team and for helping me so much over the years. Until we meet again.”

Goncalves’ family has issued an emotional statement about the loss of their daughter and sister, according to CBS affiliate KREM-TV.

“Kaylee was, is and always will be our defender and protector,” the family wrote in part. “…She did absolutely everything she set her mind to. She didn’t hold back love, fights or life.”

In the statement, the family also asked that people “abstain from spreading harmful rumours” about the deaths of the four students.

University of Idaho President Scott Green said the students were all “murdered” under tragic circumstances, and Moscow Mayor Art Bettge said all four students were considered victims in the investigation. Moscow Police Captain Anthony Dahlinger told the Idaho statesman Monday evening that none of the students who died are believed to be responsible for the deaths.

The students probably died between 3 and 4 a.m., but they went undetected for hours, Bettge said.

“The police arrived at 12 noon, nothing happened in the meantime and nothing happened after that, so it seemed like a unique event not worth repeating,” Bettge said. That timeline helped authorities determine there was no active risk, he said.

Dahlinger refused to confirm or deny Bettge’s description of the timeline.

The university canceled classes on Monday and said additional security personnel were available for the remainder of the week to escort students around campus if needed.

Still, the lack of information on the cause of death — and the fact that police have said no one has been taken into custody — left many parents concerned about campus safety and some students left early for Thanksgiving.

In a memo released Monday afternoon, Scott Green, president of the University of Idaho, urged college employees to be empathetic, flexible and work with students who decided to leave classes to spend time with their families.

“Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought to this world or illuminate the depth of the suffering we feel at their passing under these tragic circumstances,” Green wrote of the slain students.

Police said anyone with information should contact the department at 208-883-7054 and ask people to respect the privacy of the victims’ families and friends.

Brian Nickerson, the fire chief of the Moscow Volunteer Fire and EMS Department, said police arrived at the home first. Fire and ambulance first responders did not enter or transport anyone from the crime scene, Nickerson said.

The city of Moscow is a tight-knit college town nestled in the rolling hills of north-central Idaho, about 80 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington.

A vigil for the slain students scheduled for this week was postponed until next week after the school’s fall break, University of Idaho spokesperson Kyle Pfannenstiel told CBS News Tuesday.

Shortly after Moscow police announced the murder investigation, University of Virginia students were also told to take shelter after police said a suspect shot fellow students on a bus as they returned from a school trip. The shooting killed three members of the school’s football team and injured two other students. The shooting sparked an intense manhunt on Sunday, and authorities announced Monday that a suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been apprehended.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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