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Two roommates not suspects in stabbing investigation; rumors prompt Moscow police to dispel speculation

Nov. 21, 2022 Updated Mon., Nov. 21, 2022 at 8:11 p.m.

An Idaho State Police trooper, left, investigates outside a home on King Road in Moscow. The bodies of four University of Idaho students were found in the house.  (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)
An Idaho State Police trooper, left, investigates outside a home on King Road in Moscow. The bodies of four University of Idaho students were found in the house. (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)
By From staff reports

From staff reports

MOSCOW, Idaho – Police continue to combat rumors regarding the gruesome stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students last week.

Investigators have kept many details of the case secret, including the identity of a person who called 911 to report an unconscious person at the home near campus.

The slow drip of information has fueled problems from the start of the Nov. 13 investigation and has upset family members and friends mourning the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

Detectives do not yet have a suspect and have not found the large knife used to kill the students in their beds.

Police have steadily begun clearing some people – including the two roommates of the dead students, along with a man who Goncalves and Mogen hired to drive them home in the early hours.

Police have noted the 911 call was not made by the killer, but rather by someone who was in the home the following morning. The roommates, who reportedly slept throughout the night as the killings happened in bedrooms on different floors of the home, called for help from friends when they worried their friends weren’t waking up. It was when those friends arrived at the house that the 911 call was placed.

In a news release Monday afternoon, police took pains to address what they called an unrelated case of a dog that was taken from a Moscow couple and later found skinned.

The report of the dog, killed about three weeks ago and 3 miles from the college campus, was announced by several national news outlets with excited reporting attempting to link the case to the death of the students. The police addressed the issue as “Rumor Control” in its news release.

Police also told the public that dead animals left on a Moscow resident’s property was due to “wildlife activity” and also unrelated to the student deaths.

Police added in their news release that a dog at the home where the student deaths happened was unharmed. It was given to Animal Service and then returned to people responsible for its care.

Police continue to attempt to collect more evidence such as video surveillance from Moscow homes and businesses. They pointed out that the FBI is assisting in the investigation and is accepting tips and digital media at fbi.gov/moscowidaho.

Police will hold another news conference on Wednesday.

Anyone with information can call the tip line at (208) 883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us

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