Police stay quiet after quadruple homicide in Idaho

Nov 17, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 9:57 am
Police provided an update but added little new information about four University of Idaho students ...
Officers investigate a homicide at an apartment complex south of the University of Idaho campus on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Four people were found dead on King Road near the campus, according to a city of Moscow news release issued Sunday afternoon. (Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP)
(Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Students are leaving campus in Moscow, Idaho, as police continue to send mixed messages about the safety of the community and the status of a murderer in a quadruple homicide.

A killer with a “edged” weapon such as a knife killed four University of Idaho students in the early hours of Sunday in northern Idaho. No suspect is in custody, but police believe the slayings were “an isolated, targeted attack,” and that there is no threat to the campus or surrounding community, they said, according to CNN.

But the police chief later said, “We cannot say there’s no threat to the community.”

An update from police on the Idaho homicide

Moscow Police Chief James Fry updated the case Wednesday. He said two additional roommates were inside the home during the killings but were neither injured nor held hostage. 

Fry said the victims were killed in early Sunday morning, but the first 911 emergency call about an unconscious person at the address near campus didn’t happen until noon Sunday. Police added there was no indication of a forced entry inside the dwelling.

Did one of the uninjured roommates make that call; Fry would only say:

“We’re not going to go any further into what they know and what they don’t know.”

The identities of the victims are Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21 and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. 

The college town has not recorded a murder since 2015, according to state police data.

Idaho police mute about homicides

KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas joined Dave & Dujanovic with Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the quadruple homicide case.

“How and why are we not learning more from police?” Dave asked. “Is this standard procedure when they’re chasing a thread that they just don’t talk about anything?”

“When the case is being investigated, police just keep it very close to the vest, and I understand that, but the community in Moscow wants to know whether they should be on alert, whether there is a killer out there,” Skordas said. “And the police are giving some mixed messages about that.”

“I’ve read several of them [students have] already left campus just out of concern for their safety,” Debbie said.

So many students had left the campus in Moscow that university officials said a candlelight vigil scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 16, would instead be held after the Thanksgiving break, according to KGMI radio station.

“My guess is that the police know a lot more than they’re disclosing,” Skordas said, “which is not necessarily a bad thing that they’re holding that back.”

“But doesn’t the community have a right to know whether they are in imminent danger?” Dave asked.

“Absolutely, Dave, and I think law enforcement is tiptoeing around, and I don’t know that we can blame them necessarily — sort of trying to keep the community calm, but not tipping their hands too much about their investigation,” Skordas said. 

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Police stay quiet after quadruple homicide in Idaho