The Idaho State Police has added four campus patrols and 14 general community patrols as the University of Idaho hosts a vigil Wednesday evening for the four students fatally stabbed earlier this month.
Several hundred people attend the vigil on campus of 9,000 students to remember the victims: Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Magen, 21.
Several relatives spoke about their loved ones.
“We have lost four beautiful souls,” said Steve, Goncalves’ father.
Investigators have yet to identify a suspect or find the murder weapon, but an Idaho State Police spokesman said they have begun receiving forensic test results, Fox News reported.
“I do know that every type of testing… some take longer than others. And I also know that results have been sent back and they’re going straight to the researchers so they can help repaint that picture that we keep talking about,” spokesman Aaron Snell said, declining to say who the DNA belonged to .
CNN has contacted Snell for comment.
The state police are assisting the police in Moscow, a city of about 26,000 inhabitants, in the investigation. Due to the uncertainty and lack of information about the unsolved murders, the campus is emptier than usual after the Thanksgiving holiday.
While there is no official figure on the number of students returning, Provost and Executive Vice President Torrey Lawrence told CNN that professors report that about two-thirds to three-quarters of students attend in person.
“This is a tough situation and we are moving forward by trying to support all of our people, our faculty, our staff, our students and trying to meet their needs,” said Lawrence.
A student told CNN that, with an unidentified killer, people are “drawn out.”
“It definitely feels a little different,” says college student Hayden Rich. “It seems like a bit of a sad setting. It’s a bit quiet.”
Snell told CNN on Tuesday that 911 calls have risen while cases remain unsolved. Most of those calls are related to activities of ‘suspicious persons’ or ‘welfare check’.
“We recognize that there is heightened fear in the community and so the officers go to those calls and deal with them as soon as they come in,” Snell said.
University of Idaho president Scott Green acknowledged last week that some students would not return until a suspect is taken into custody.
“As such, the faculty has been asked to prepare in-person teaching and remote learning options so that each student can choose their mode of engagement for the last two weeks of the semester,” he wrote in a statement.
Dozens of local, state and federal investigators are still trying to determine who carried out the brutal attack. Investigators have yet to identify a suspect or find a weapon — believed to be a fixed-blade knife — and have sifted through more than 1,000 tips and conducted at least 150 interviews.
The four students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus house in Moscow on November 13. The murders have alarmed the campus community and the city of about 25,000, which has not seen a murder since 2015.
Police said they believe the killings were “targeted” and “isolated” but have released no evidence to support that analysis. They also initially said there was no threat to the public, but later backtracked on that assurance.
“We can’t say there isn’t a threat to the community,” police chief James Fry said days after the killings.
The authorities do not rule out that more than one person is involved in the stabbing.
So far, using the evidence gathered at the scene and the wealth of tips and interviews, investigators have been able to piece together a rough timeline and map of the group’s final hours.
On the night of the murders, Goncalves and Mogen were at a sports bar and Chapin and Kernodle were seen at a fraternity party.
Investigators believe all four victims had returned to the home by 2 a.m. on the night of the stabbing. Two surviving roommates had also gone out that night in Moscow, police said, returning to the home at 1 a.m.
Police previously said Goncalves and Mogen had returned home at 1:45 a.m., but they updated the timeline Friday, saying digital evidence showed the pair returned at 1:56 a.m. after visiting a food truck and being driven home by a ” private party”. ”
The next morning, two surviving roommates “called friends to the residence because they believed one of the victims had passed out on the second floor and was not waking up,” police said in a press release. Someone called 911 from the house at 11:58 from the phones of one of the surviving roommates.
When the police arrived, they found two victims on the second floor and two victims on the third floor. There was no breakage or damage, police said.
Investigators do not believe the two surviving housemates were involved in the death.
A coroner determined that the four victims had each been stabbed multiple times and were likely asleep when the attacks began. According to the Latah County coroner, some of the students had gunshot wounds.
Student Ava Forsyth said her roommate stays home because she doesn’t feel safe. Forsyth said she feels “quite” safe, but “not so much” at night, when she uses a free on-campus walking security service.
Rich, the student who said people are “drawn out,” said he decided to come back for the many tests he has this week. Student Lexi Way told CNN she feels safe with heightened campus security and “tends to learn better in the classroom.”