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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Moscow police double down on ‘targeted’ nature of killings near UI, but say house itself could have been chosen and not occupants

Dec. 1, 2022 Updated Thu., Dec. 1, 2022 at 8:43 p.m.

Investigators check the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead near campus on Nov. 13 in Moscow, Idaho.  (RAJAH BOSE/For the New York Times)
Investigators check the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead near campus on Nov. 13 in Moscow, Idaho. (RAJAH BOSE/For the New York Times)

Following back-and-forth claims from law enforcement on the fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students last month, the Moscow Police Department on Thursday night doubled down on claims the attack was targeted, though they acknowledged the house itself and not its occupants may have been chosen by the still-unidentified killer.

The police department restated its belief that the attack was targeted after investigators on Wednesday said they “do not currently know if the residence or any occupants were specifically targeted.”

“We remain consistent in our belief that this was a targeted attack, but investigators have not concluded if the target was the residence or if it was the occupants,” the department said in a statement. “We continue receiving inquiries about comments made by Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson, who said the suspect(s) specifically looked at the victim’s residence and that one or more of the occupants were undoubtedly targeted. The Moscow Police Department is the only provider of official information regarding this case.”

Detectives on Thursday also revealed that a sixth person is listed on the lease at the residence where the students were killed, but said they do not believe the person was present during the killings.

Moscow police added that results of forensics tests from the Idaho State Police crime lab will not be released to protect the investigation’s integrity.

No suspect has been identified in connection with the Nov. 13 killings.

“There is speculation, without factual backing, stoking community fears and spreading false facts,” police said. “We encourage referencing official releases for accurate information and updated progress.”

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