Murder of University of Idaho students: Investigators looked at more than 1,000 tips


Moscow, Idaho
CNN

Investigators into the fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students have seen more than 1,000 tips arrived in the 10 days since the bodies were found, authorities told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

More than 150 people have been interviewed, Idaho State Patrol Col. Kedrick Wells said, but authorities have given no indication they are close to naming suspects.

Law enforcement officials remain silent, answering many questions about the case by saying only that the information was part of the investigation, which was launched after the bodies of Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Zana Kernodel, 20, and Madison Maugin. 21, found on November 13.

Moscow’s chief of police, James Fry, said every tip would be followed up, and they believed there was still more information to be gathered. He invited the public to use a guide or online portal that would accept video or photographic evidence.

“No information is too small,” he said. “So far, (the information provided) has helped investigators build a picture of the areas of interest and the relationships these four had with each other and with our community.”

The authorities said that the authorities did not rule out the involvement of more than one person in the killings. Police believe the attack was targeted and that the killer or killers used a fixed blade knife.

More than 45 investigators from the FBI, state police and Moscow police are involved in the murder case, the first in Moscow since 2015.

Steve Goncalves, Kylie’s father, is “a bit in denial” after the killings, he told CNN on Wednesday, and is focused on securing justice for his daughter, though information is scarce.

“We all want to play a role in helping, and we can’t play a role if we don’t have any real real information to work from,” he said, joined by his other children, Alivia and Stephen.

Alivia expressed frustration with the schedule — saying she knew her sister returned home about 11 minutes later than the police said she did — as well as with the rumors that circulated in the information vacuum. She dismissed allegations that her sister had been stalked, reiterating a statement from police on Tuesday that they “were unable to verify or identify a stalker.”

“She was very aware,” said the sister. She was very attentive. I think she would have really noticed something.”

Here's what we know about 4 deaths near the Idaho campus that are being investigated as homicides

The victim’s sister shares details about the keypad lock in the Idaho home

Alivea Goncalves has also described her sister as a goofball who “didn’t think of any of the negatives”. She said she enjoyed laughing and playing pranks on her loved ones.

“She would block me on Instagram if I borrowed shirts without asking – it wasn’t uncommon,” Alivia laughed.

Her brother said Kylie was also a hard worker, and she wanted him to fight for her.

Stephen Goncalves said, “Just sitting in my bed and crying myself to sleep isn’t going to do her any justice, and that’s not what she wants me to do.”

Her father said that Kylie Goncalves was popular, knew everyone, and often threw parties, like many young people her age.

When asked what he heard from the local police, Steve Goncalves said, “They don’t share a lot with me,” and suggested that the Moscow police may be limited in what they can share.

The killings in the rented home where the four lived with two other people rocked a campus of 9,300 students, with one fellow student telling CNN she would not return until the suspect was taken into custody.

Fry did not rule out the possibility that there might still be a threat to the community, he said last week, urging residents and students to remain vigilant, report all suspicious activity and be aware of their surroundings.

Some professors canceled classes last week, including Zachary Turpin, who wrote on social media that he “could not in good conscience hold a class” until police released more information or identified a suspect.

Kylie Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Zanna Kernodel, and Madison Maugin

New details in the Idaho stabbing investigation

University President Scott Green sent a memo to students and staff on Tuesday about learning options. Students on fall vacation. When classes resume, there will be two weeks left in the term.

“Faculty members have been asked to personally set up distance teaching and learning options so that each student can choose how they participate,” he wrote. Moving courses completely online is not recommended but may be necessary in limited situations.

Graduation ceremonies remain scheduled for December 10.

Green said more state troopers will be on campus for the foreseeable future. He noted that the size of the school’s security forces had been increased.

The city of 26,000 borders Washington, about 80 miles south of both Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington. It is located 9 miles from Pullman, Washington, home of Washington State University.

The detectives begin building a timeline relating to the students and their last known whereabouts.

Chapin and Kernodale attended a frat party from 8 pm to 9 pm on November 12, the night before their bodies were found.

Goncalves and Mugen were at a sports bar between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. and then were seen ordering from a nearby food truck, according to the truck’s Twitch stream.

While they were waiting about 10 minutes to get their food, they chatted to other people standing next to the truck. The man operating the truck told CNN they did not appear to be in any danger or distress.

Police said Goncalves and Mugen took advantage of a “private party” to get home at 1:45 a.m. They said investigators do not believe the driver was involved in the deaths. By then, the police said, all four victims had returned home.

How and when the attack occurred is the focus of the police investigation.

It wasn’t just before noon that Sunday when a 911 call came in about an “unconscious person” and all four officers were found dead. Police said there were no signs of forced entry.

Authorities said two roommates were in the house unharmed, and police do not believe they were involved in the crime.

Citing a Latah district examining magistrate, police said the dead students were “probably asleep” before the attack. Police said some of the four — it’s not clear how many — had defensive injuries, and there were no signs of sexual assault.

Idaho student movement map

Moscow Police Department

Police did not identify the 911 callers, saying the call only came from one of the surviving roommate’s phones. Police Capt. Roger Lanier said Wednesday that the people on the call are not suspects.

On Monday, police said a dog was found in the home.

Moscow police said on Facebook: “The dog was not harmed and was handed over to the Animal Services and then released to a responsible authority.”

The University of Idaho announced that it would host a candlelight vigil on November 30.

“Please join us from where you are, individually or as a group, to help us light the state of Idaho. Light a candle, turn on the stadium lights, or be silent with us for a moment of unity on campus.”

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