Colonel Cedric Wells, the Idaho State Police chief in the small northern Idaho town of Moscow, had a simple message. We know people want answers. “We want answers, too,” he said at a recent news conference.
A manhunt has been underway for more than a week in this remote college town as an unidentified suspect stabbed four University of Idaho students to death in the early morning hours of November 13.
The quadruple murder victims — Ethan Chapin, 20, Kylie Goncalves, 21, Zana Kernodel, 20, and Madison Maugen, 21 — were killed while they slept in an off-campus house on King Road, near the sorority and fraternity. homes. The motive and identity of those who committed the horrific crime remain unknown.
When Wells made his appeal in front of the television cameras, he wasn’t just speaking for the traumatized university community or for the terrified university town that surrounded it. He was speaking on behalf of his state and the broader American public, who watched in horror as more gruesome details of horrific killings came to light except for the most important of all – why this happened and who did it.
There are few clues.
In the hours leading up to their murder, Mugen and Goncalves had been in a Moscow city center bar called the Corner Club between 10pm and 1.30am, and then visited a food truck late at night. A video of the two best friends, who attended high school together and work at a local Greek restaurant, shows them ordering pasta with no signs of apparent distress. At around 1.40am, Mogen and Goncalves received a ride home from a ‘private party’, a person whom detectives had investigated and who is not currently suspected of having anything to do with the spousal murder.
During the same time frame, Chapin and Kernodle were at a party at Sigma Chi, the fraternity house on the University of Idaho campus, until about 1.45am, when they returned to the King Road house. Kernodle, Mogen, and Goncalves were roommates. Chapin wasn’t living in the house, but it seemed like he was staying the night. All of the victims were members of a University of Idaho sorority or fraternity. Their bodies were found on the second and third floors of the house.
They have been stabbed. We got the call. I don’t want people to make assumptions about our children. It wasn’t drugs and it definitely wasn’t something of a passion among these kids. Someone got into the house,” Stacey Chapin told the Idaho Statesman four days after her son’s body was discovered.
The authorities estimated the time of the killings between 3 and 4 a.m. Moscow police said two other unidentified comrades were asleep during the attack. They were reportedly outside until 1 am and then slept until the midday hours the next day. A roommate’s cell phone was used to place the initial 911 call. Police announced that investigators had recently been alerted of multiple phone calls from Mogen and Goncalves to a man. This man, who has not been identified by police, has been ruled out as a possible suspect.
Autopsy reports released by the Latah County coroner showed no signs of sexual assault. “Well, there was a lot of blood,” Latta County investigative physician Cathy Mabbott told station KREM in Spokane, Washington, last Tuesday. “It was a very sad scene.” Mabout concluded in her report that the four victims were most likely asleep when they were stabbed multiple times and some had defensive wounds.
It is unclear how the attacker entered the house or what type of knife was used in the stabbing. Police searched rubbish bins around King Road for clues but did not uncover anything of value. No weapon has been found, and no clothing worn by the suspect has been found yet.
Moscow Police Chief James Frey said in the days following the murders: “Based on the details found at the scene, we believe this was an isolated, targeted attack on our victims.” “We have no suspect at this time and that person is still there. We cannot say there is no threat to the community, and as we have stated, please remain vigilant, report suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
On Sunday night, Frey declined to provide an explanation as to why police believed this was a targeted attack or which of his roommates believed he was the primary target. He was also unable to provide details about the possible whereabouts of the killer. “We can’t say if the person is here,” Fry said.
As a result of the uncertainty surrounding the unsolved murders, Moscow Police are working with Idaho State Police and the FBI to process more than 600 tips and survey homes and businesses in Moscow for surveillance video from the late hours of the night of November 12 and into the early hours of the morning. November 13th.
During Sunday night’s press conference, Wills specifically asked community members to stop following or spreading rumors, arguably due to newly formed social media accounts about unsolved murders that spread misinformation about suspects. which the police have already ruled out.
Lessons are canceled the day after the students’ bodies are found. Latta County deputy sheriff Scott Mikolajczyk said he saw students and neighbors of the deceased “get out of their Dodge” and leave Moscow a week before the university’s Thanksgiving holiday began, the Idaho Statesman reported.
University of Idaho president Scott Green confirmed that he believed the killings were a targeted attack that took place in off-campus housing. However, he acknowledged that he had heard that some students wanted to learn remotely until the suspect was arrested, while others wanted to stay on campus.
“We are planning for the very real possibility that some students may not be comfortable returning to campus,” Green said. He publicly asked coaches to plan both types of student experiences.
Until someone is arrested for the quadruple homicide, the University of Idaho campuses and Moscow City will continue to have an increased law enforcement presence from the Idaho State Police. Green described Soldiers on Campus as a “very visible force” who will remain on campus for the foreseeable future. The university is also clamping down on the security of residence halls, requiring that all student residences remain closed with only residents given access.