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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Still no suspects in slaying of 4 UI students a week after stabbings discovered in Moscow

Nov. 20, 2022 Updated Sun., Nov. 20, 2022 at 9:17 p.m.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said investigators believe the homicides were a “targeted” and isolated attack. But he stressed that they still haven’t found the murder weapon and don’t have a suspect in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.  (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)
Moscow Police Chief James Fry said investigators believe the homicides were a “targeted” and isolated attack. But he stressed that they still haven’t found the murder weapon and don’t have a suspect in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)

MOSCOW, Idaho – A week after four University of Idaho students were found stabbed in their beds, investigators still have no suspects, they told the public Sunday.

“We will continue to vigorously pursue the investigation and pursue justice in this case,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said at a news conference in Moscow on Sunday afternoon. “It is a complex and terrible crime that will take some time to resolve.”

At the Sunday news conference, investigators released few new details in the killings of Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21.

Fry continued to say the attack was “targeted” and “isolated” but declined to answer questions on why investigators believe that to be the case. Police have yet to find the large knife used in the attack.

In the past week, investigators conducted over 90 interviews and received more than 640 tips with help from the Idaho State Police, Latah County Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

Capt. Roger Lanier reviewed the timeline of the victims’ activities before reiterating anyone with information should call the tip line at (208) 883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

The killer did not place the 911 call, Fry said, while continuing to refuse to name the caller. A public records request for the 911 call by The Spokesman-Review was denied earlier this week.

The surviving roommates called friends to come over to the house Sunday morning because they though one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and wasn’t waking up, police wrote in a Sunday evening Facebook post.

When the friends arrived, someone called 911 on one of the surviving roommates’ cellphones.

When asked how many people were at the house, Fry said he’s “not quite sure at this time.”

Multiple people talked with the dispatcher before police arrived and found the four victims. Police don’t think anyone who was at the house when the 911 call was made are involved in the attack.

Investigators are aware that Mogen and Goncalves placed multiple phone calls shortly before their deaths, but those calls were not related to the attack, Fry indicated.

“Everything that we have taken from those calls we have followed up on and we have cleared,” Fry said. “We believe that there’s no connection.”

C. Scott Green, the president of the university, said security on campus will continue to be ramped up in the coming weeks. The university is still evaluating options for the rest of the semester, but Green indicated students who want to finish their courses virtually likely will be able to do so.

He added that counseling will continue to be available, and instructors have been asked to support student needs.

Additional communication on semester plans will be sent in the coming days, Green said.

Many students left early for Thanksgiving break, scared of the killer, who remains uncaught.

“I can’t say what community the person is in,” Fry said of the killer.

In Moscow on Sunday, friends and family of the victims handed out fliers near the crime scene and on campus urging people to come forward with tips and surveillance video that might aid investigators.

Col. Kedrick Wills, director of the Idaho State Police, asked the community to stop spreading rumors online and only get their information from official sources.

“The best thing that most people can do to help is stop with any kind of rumors,” Wills said. “Anything that we have that we can share from a law enforcement perspective we will be sharing just as soon as we can because that’s how we think that we can get this to conclusion.”

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