After a week of grief, uncertainty and fear in the college town, police were still searching for the attacker and asking the public for help. Authorities have received more than 500 tips and conducted 38 interviews, Moscow police said, but are seeking more tips.
Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, were killed in the early hours of Sunday, likely an hour or two after they all got home, police said. The three women were roommates and Chapin and Kernodle were dating.
Authorities revealed some new details about the four friends’ activities the night before the murders, compiled from surveillance footage and interviews.
That Saturday night, Goncalves and Mogen were at a downtown bar. They stopped at a food truck and hailed a ride home, police said.
They got home at 1:45 a.m., about the same time Kernodle and Chapin returned to the residence after hanging out at the Sigma Chi fraternity house on campus.
Police said students in Idaho were killed with a live weapon in a targeted attack
Two other roommates were also home that night and detectives said they do not believe they were involved in the crime, Moscow police said. Neither was injured or taken hostage, Moscow police chief James Fry said.
The autopsy revealed that Kernodle was trying to beat her killer, according to an interview KTVK/KPHO conducted with her father, Jeffrey Kernodle. Bruises, torn by the knife. She’s a tough kid,” he told the Arizona station.
He said doors to the house the housemates shared locked automatically and required a code to unlock.
“It makes no sense,” he told KTVK/KPHO on Friday.
Police were looking for evidence in the contents of three dumpsters near the home. They also tried to determine if a fixed-blade knife had recently been purchased from local businesses.
The police were alerted just before noon on Sunday by an emergency number, reporting an unconscious person in the home. They did not identify the 911 caller; Idaho State Police spokesman Aaron Snell told ABC News Thursday that none of the uninjured roommates were the callers.
After initially assuring residents of the northwest Idaho town that there was no danger to the public, the police chief said at a news conference Wednesday that the killer is “still out there” and told residents to stay vigilant. to be. Authorities have said it was a targeted attack, but Fry told reporters, “We can’t say there isn’t a threat to the community.”
Many students left the university’s 10,000-person campus after news of the attack, heading home early for Thanksgiving break.
More than 40 FBI agents have been assigned to the case, including 22 Moscow detectives working with the Idaho State Police and local authorities. Police released a map showing where the four students had been seen that night and asked anyone in the area who saw anything suspicious or has video footage to contact authorities.
A college freshman, Chapin studied recreation, sports and tourism management. Kernodle, a junior, studied marketing. Mogen, a senior, also studied marketing. Goncalves, a senior, studied general studies.
In statements to various news outlets, their families have expressed deep sorrow.
Chapin, who loved sports and travel, was one of triplets so close to his siblings that they all chose to attend the University of Idaho, his parents told Seattle-based television station KING-TV. Kernodle “was really a once-in-a-lifetime type of person,” her sister Jazzmin Kernodle said in a tribute on Instagram.
The four were good friends, Jazzmin Kernodle said.
“I knew they were all such good friends to Xana, and she loved them so much,” she wrote on Instagram. “Ethan and Xana were so happy together and it made me so happy to see how he made her feel.”
Goncalves and Mogen were kind, adventurous, dignified women who loved their lives, Goncalves’ family wrote shared a statement with Spokane, Washington-based television station KXLY. Goncalves was “dedicated, outspoken, motivated and full of life.” Maddie was “one of the most genuine, kind and caring people on the planet,” they said.
“No amount of words or statements could ever attempt to capture who they were or what they wanted in life or what has been stolen from all of us,” the family wrote. “We are angry. You should be angry. And whoever is responsible, we will find you.
A vigil will be held on the school’s campus on November 30 at 5 p.m., the university announced on Thursday.
Marisa Iati contributed to this report.