During a press conference on Wednesday, Moscow Police Chief James Fry reversed course from what police had been saying all week, acknowledging that there may be a threat to the community since the police still do not have a person of interest connected to the slayings.
“We cannot say that there is no threat to the community,” Fry said at the press conference. “There is a threat out there, possibly.”
Fry also said that there were two other roommates at the house when the killings occurred, but they were not injured or taken hostage. He noted that, currently, there is no person of interest in the case.
The two surviving roommates did not witness the crime, which Fry said happened in the “early morning” hours. Police were not called until just before noon, and the two other roommates were still in the house when police arrived to investigate.
Prior to Wednesday, police had been saying in press releases that this was an isolated, “targeted” attack and insisted there was no ongoing threat to the community. But while Fry on Wednesday still indicated investigators “believe this was an isolated attack,” he did say there could be a threat to the community. He then urged people to report anything suspicious.
“We need to be vigilant. We need to watch out for our neighbors,” he said. “We need to continue to do that until we can close this off and make an arrest.”
Fry noted on Wednesday that the students were stabbed with a knife that has not been found yet, there were no signs of forced entry into the home, and no signs of a robbery.
The police chief also provided a known timeline for the homicide, saying that two of the victims, 20-year-old Ethan Chapin and 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, were at an on-campus party earlier in the evening, while Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, each 21, went to a bar downtown.
The group reportedly arrived back at the house “sometime after 1:45 a.m.,” Fry said, adding that the call about an “unconscious person” came in more than 10 hours later. It was that 911 call that led police to discover the bodies.
While police have been scarce on details in official releases, law enforcement sources told the Daily Mail that the scene inside the residence was “the worst they’ve ever seen,” with blood seeping out of the home and dripping down the side of the house.
“There was blood everywhere,” one source told the outlet, which published photos of the outside of the home with blood seen dripping down the foundation. “We have investigators who have been on the job for 20, even 30, years, and they say they have never seen anything like this.”
The outlet also reported that police were seen collecting the contents of trash cans near the residence. The trash was then taken to a local garbage depot where cops in hazmat suits sifted through it in a screened-off shed.