4 University of Idaho students were likely killed with an “edged weapon,” police say; no suspects in custody

Police: 4 University of Idaho students found dead on campus

Police: 4 University of Idaho students found dead on campus


Investigators believe a sharp weapon was used in the deaths of the four University of Idaho students“, the police said on Tuesday. All four students who were found dead Sunday in a home near campus are believed to be victims in the case, officials said.

Police said no weapons have been found so far, but based on preliminary information, “investigators believe a sharp weapon, such as a knife, was used,” Moscow police Capt. Anthony Dahlinger said in a statement. No suspects have been arrested.

Autopsies, which are scheduled to be completed later this week, may provide more information on the exact cause of death.

Police discovered the bodies of the students just before noon Sunday when they responded to a report of an unconscious person at a home just steps from the Moscow, Idaho, campus. The victims have been identified as 20-year-old Ethan Chapin of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

The Moscow Police Department has called the deaths “homicide” but says there is no active danger to the community.

The university said Chapin was a freshman and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, while Kernodle was a junior majoring in marketing and a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Mogen was also a marketing senior and a member of Pi Beta Phi, while Goncalves was a senior general studies major and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, the university said. The university also listed different hometowns for Chapin and Kernodle than the Moscow Police Department’s statement: The school said Chapin was from Mount Vernon, Wash., and Kernodle was from Post Falls, Idaho.

Mogen and Kernodle worked at Mad Greek, a family-owned restaurant a little more than a mile from the home where the students were found, the agency said on Facebook. The owners wrote a heartfelt tribute to the two students.

It is with a broken heart and deep sadness that I share with you that we have lost two of our own here at Mad Greek. Xana…

Posted by Mad Greek on Monday, 2022 November 14

“Xana and Maddie have been here for several years and have brought so much joy to our restaurant and to everyone they come in contact with,” the restaurant wrote, noting that Mogen also handled much of their social media. “… You will be greatly missed. Thank you for being part of our family/team and helping me so much over the years. See you soon.”

According to CBS affiliate KREM-TV, the Goncalves family released an emotional statement about the loss of their daughter and sister.

“Kaylee was, is and always will be our protector and protector,” the family wrote in part. “… She did absolutely everything she set her mind to. She didn’t hold back on love, fighting, or life.”

In a statement, the family also asked people to “refrain from spreading harmful rumours” about the deaths of the four students.

University of Idaho President Scott Green said all students “died” under tragic circumstances, and Moscow Mayor Art Bettge said all four students were considered victims of the investigation. Moscow Police Capt. Anthony Dahlinger told the Idaho Statesman Monday night that none of the dead students are believed to be responsible for the deaths.

The students likely died between 3 and 4 a.m., but were not discovered for several hours, Bettge said.

“The police arrived at noon, nothing happened during that time and nothing happened afterward, so it seemed like a unique event that couldn’t happen again,” Bettge said. He said the deadline helped authorities determine there was no active risk.

Dahlinger declined to confirm or deny Bettge’s account of the timeline.

The university canceled classes on Monday and said extra security could escort students for the rest of the week if needed.

Still, the lack of information about the cause of the deaths and the fact that police said no arrests have been made have many parents worried about campus safety and some students leaving early for Thanksgiving break.

In a memo released Monday afternoon, University of Idaho President Scott Green urged university staff to be empathetic and flexible in working with students who choose to leave classes to spend time with their families.

“Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought into this world or diminish the depth of suffering we feel as they pass under these tragic circumstances,” Green wrote of the slain students.

Police said anyone with information should contact the department at 208-883-7054 and ask that the privacy of the victims’ family and friends be respected.

Moscow Volunteer Fire and EMS Fire Chief Brian Nickerson said police were the first to arrive at the home. Fire and EMS first responders did not go inside or take anyone from the scene, Nickerson said.

Moscow City is a tight-knit college town nestled in the rolling hills of north-central Idaho, about 80 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington.

A vigil planned for this week for the slain students has been postponed until next week after fall break, University of Idaho spokesman Kyle Pfannenstiel told CBS News on Tuesday.

Shortly after Moscow police announced a homicide investigation, students at the University of Virginia were also told to take shelter after police said a suspect shot classmates on a bus as they returned from a school field trip. Three members of the school’s football team were killed and two other students were injured in the shooting. An intense manhunt began Sunday, and authorities announced Monday that the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been taken into custody.


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