Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

FBI returns to Moscow house where four UI students were killed for new evidence

An Idaho State Police trooper, left, investigates outside a home on King Road on Nov. 14, 2022, in Moscow. The bodies of four University of Idaho students were found in the house the day before.  (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)
By Sally Krutzig Idaho Statesman

With the trial of the man charged with murdering four University of Idaho students on hold, the FBI said it now has time to create a unique form of evidence that prosecutors can present to a future jury.

The University of Idaho said the FBI and prosecutors were returning to the home on King Road in Moscow, where the students were stabbed to death, to “get documentation to construct visual and audio exhibits and a physical model of the home.”

Agents will be at the home Tuesday and Wednesday “to gather their own measurements and images now that the personal property has been removed from the premises,” according to a news release from the university.

The anticipated October trial of suspect Bryan Kohberger was delayed in August after he waived his right to a speedy trial. The court has yet to set a new date. Kohberger, 28, a Pennsylvania native who was studying criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, was arrested in December and faces four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary.

The FBI said these types of displays take months to build, and law enforcement had not thought creating them would be possible by the October deadline, according to the University of Idaho. The FBI told UI it now has the time to construct them.

Agents will temporarily remove the plywood previously placed across the home’s doors and windows before re-securing them after agents are done gathering the evidence, the university said.

The Nov. 13 attack took the lives of seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.

UI calls demolition a ‘healing step’

Earlier this year, the previous homeowner donated the six-bedroom house that the students rented to U I. The university initially planned to demolish the reminder of the students’ deaths in August, before the start of the fall semester.

“This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed,” Jodi Walker, UI spokesperson, told the Idaho Statesman by email. “Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene.”

Three of the families questioned destroying it – and any possible remaining evidence with it – ahead of Kohberger’s then-October trial date, the Statesman previously reported.

“I think all of the families assumed that the King Road address would not be demolished until the trial’s over,” Shanon Gray, attorney for the Goncalves family, told the Statesman by email after Kohberger’s trial was delayed.

The UI said Tuesday that the home will still be demolished, but it won’t happen this semester. Walker said no date has been set, but the school plans to give the public two weeks’ notice before it’s torn down.

The Statesman previously reported that it was costing the school $600 per day to employ a third-party security company to watch over the property.

The Latah County Prosecutor’s Office informed the surviving roommates, victims’ families and Kohberger’s defense team of the new plans with the house, according to UI.