Word for word: University’s letter to parents of Idaho victims

  • The University of Idaho sent a letter to the parents of Idaho victims
  • The letter lays out protocol for what’s to come with the King Rd. home
  • Demolition will likely happen soon after remediation efforts are finished

(NewsNation) — It’s been a busy week of exclusive revelations in the Idaho student killings. In one of the latest developments, NewsNation has accessed a significant letter the University of Idaho sent to the parents of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin  —  the four students killed on Nov. 13 of last year in the home on King Road.

The home is currently boarded up with a chain link fence surrounding it and a security officer standing guard outside to make sure no one gets into the scene. Passing by has been excruciatingly painful for both students and locals.

An email sent to the victims’ parents lays out the protocol for what’s to come with the home. Demolition will likely happen soon, right after remediation efforts are finished.

But the university wants to make sure family members of the victims have the opportunity to retrieve the belongings of their loved ones that have been inside the house since the killings in November.

Word for word, the letter reads:

I am the Acting General Counsel for the University of Idaho and oversee the legal services for the University. I first want to express my condolences to each of you for the tragic loss you have suffered. I greatly appreciate the positive manner in which you have interacted with the University in the aftermath of this tragedy.

I am writing to communicate to each of you regarding the University’s plans for the house at 1122 King Road. As was conveyed to you by Dean of Students Blaine Eckles, the homeowner gifted the house to the university with the intent by both parties that it be demolished. Before doing so, we will complete remediation within the house to address biohazards and chemical hazards that exist as a result of the crimes and ensuing investigation. At the completion of the remediation, we intend to have the remediation team gather any personal property that do not appear to be contaminated and transfer them to university personnel who will take these items to a secure off-site location for representative members of the families to review and recover items of your family members that you wish to keep. Items not selected will then be properly disposed of. This will not apply to large bulky items such as sofas, beds or the like, to the extent that any remain on site. If you have specific items you wish to be on the lookout for, regardless of size, please let me know. If we can locate and retain them for you we will.

We intend to proceed with demolition as soon after completion of the remediation as can be done. We do not yet have a specific date for when this will occur. We will notify you of the demolition date in advance so you are not caught by surprise by media reports.

In the interim, we are making every effort to respect the dignity of your loved ones and our activities will be done outside of media scrutiny as much as possible. The house is currently surrounded by construction fencing, the windows and doors have been securely boarded, and we are not allowing access into the house by anyone not specifically authorized by the University. Anyone authorized to enter the house will be required to agree to strict non-disclosure and will be prohibited from taking photos or otherwise recording the inside.

This communication constitutes the University’s formal notice to you of our intention to proceed with remediation and demolition as described above. If you have any concerns with these plans, please contact me by April 3, 2023. We will address those prior to proceeding. If you have retained legal counsel, I encourage you to share this communication notifying you of the proposed plans. You or your counsel may contact the Office of General Counsel via email to (redacted) (or call me at the phone number listed below, which has been redacted) to discuss any concerns or objections you may have.

Once again, I want to express my deepest sympathy and my condolences to each family member. It is my hope that the University’s plan to remove the house helps in your healing. A reply indicating you have received this email would be greatly appreciated.”

The email had to be processed by family members and come with a decision of how to respond.

The potential demolition of the home has raised some debate. Some family members say they are concerned with the demolition taking place ahead of trial. They are worried about what it could mean for a possible conviction or appeal, and that if a jury wants to visit the crime scene to see for themselves at trial, they won’t be able to do that if it’s torn down. Other family members have said that’s not how they feel.

This does not mark the first time belongings will be taken out of the home. In early December, items like suitcases, golf clubs, a chair and a slew of boxes, were brought out of the house and loaded into a small U-Haul driven by police.

Within hours of suspect Bryan Kohberger’s arrest on Dec. 30 of last year, his defense wanted the remediation to stop so they could get a chance to look through the house.

NewsNation asked if the house is officially no longer a crime scene. We were told the house has now been fully transferred to the university, and they can proceed with plans to demolish the home.

Idaho College Killings

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation