Idaho Police Work To Dispel Rumors Surrounding Murder Of Four University Of Idaho Students

Idaho Police Work To Dispel Rumors Surrounding Murder Of Four University Of Idaho Students

Police in Moscow, Idaho, are working to dispel rumors and speculation that have arisen in the week since four University of Idaho students were found murdered on November 13.

No suspect has been identified in the murders of Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, who were found stabbed to death in their off-campus home. In the absence of information leading to the killer or killers, police have identified multiple rumors that have taken hold surrounding the deaths.

Police began dispelling rumors this week, noting in a press release on Sunday that online reports claiming the victims were tied and gagged were “not accurate.”

Several rumors were connected to the slaying involved animals, with police on Monday saying in a press release that a report of a dog that had been skinned was not connected to the deaths of the students.

“Detectives are aware of a Latah County Sheriff’s Office incident of the report of a skinned dog and have determined it is unrelated to this incident,” police wrote.

Another rumor about deceased animals being left on the property where the students were found murdered was also deemed to be a result of animal activity and “unrelated to the incident.”

Police have also said they do not believe that the two surviving roommates – who apparently did not hear the killings take place – are involved in the crime. They also do not believe a man observed in surveillance video outside a food truck visited by Goncalves and Mogen the night of the murder was involved, nor was a driver who drove the women home.

On Sunday, police provided more information about the killings and asked the public for “context to the events and people involved in these murders.”

“Anyone who observed notable behavior, has video surveillance, or can provide relevant information is asked to call the Tip Line,” police said in a press release.

Police are looking for any outside surveillance video taken between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on November 13 – the morning of the murders – from local businesses and residences in the area. They’ve requested all video, even if there doesn’t appear to be any motion in them. Police are also asking for any tips or surveillance video about “any observed suspicious behavior” on the night of the murders, particularly in the areas where the students were.

Goncalves and Mogen were in downtown Moscow prior to their murders, while Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi fraternity house.

The police also clarified that the 911 call about an unconscious person was made from inside the residence on one of the surviving roommates’ cell phones. Several people spoke with the 911 dispatcher before a police officer arrived on the scene, and at this time, police do not believe anyone who was at the residence at the time the 911 call was made is involved in the crime.

Police have received nearly 600 tips relating to the case but still have no suspects in custody and have not located the weapon used. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt previously described the murder weapon as “a bigger knife” that would be consistent with the “pretty extensive” wounds found on the students. She wouldn’t say how many times each student was stabbed, but she indicated that each student was stabbed multiple times and in different places on their bodies. She also said the victims had a “little bit of bruising” but “nothing significant,” adding that such bruising “wouldn’t be uncommon during a stabbing.”

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