Idaho police: Surviving roommates called friends to residence before 911

(NewsNation) — Police in Moscow, Idaho are asking the community to come forward with any outside security footage from businesses or homes in hopes of identifying the person who killed four University of Idaho students.

Detectives released a map of the area they are investigating and say even footage without movement in it could be helpful to their investigation.

The four students were found dead in their home near campus. Police initially said there was no risk to the community but later said residents should be on alert because the suspect was still at large. Sunday evening, Moscow Police said they are “looking everywhere” for the suspect.

Investigators identified the fatal stabbing victims as Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. The three women were roommates, while Chapin was at the house visiting Kernodle, his girlfriend.

Moscow police released a map on Friday with a rough timeline of events leading up to the deaths. They urged the public to provide any information they believe to be relevant to the case. So far, authorities have received more than 600 tips and conducted at least 90 interviews related to the investigation.

The map showed that Chapin and Kernodle were seen at the Sigma Chi fraternity house between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday. Police said it’s believed the two returned to the home by 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, Goncalves and Mogen went to the Corner Club, a popular bar in downtown Moscow, from 10 p.m. Saturday to 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Then they visited a food truck on Main Street before using a ride-hailing service to return to the house by 1:45 a.m. Police say two surviving roommates were also out in the community and got home at around 1 a.m.

Surveillance video from the food truck shows Goncalves and Mogen ordering at the window, taking photos on their phones and chatting with friends in a segment of about 10 minutes.

Police said Sunday that detectives do not believe a male seen in the video, the two surviving roommates or the private party who drove Goncalves and Mogen home were involved in the crime.

On Nov. 13, Moscow police say the surviving roommates called friends to the home because they believed one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up.

At around 11:58 a.m. on Nov. 13, a 911 came in to dispatchers reporting an unconscious person at the residence. Moscow police say the call originated from the phone of one of the surviving roommates but will not say who exactly made the 911 call or release a recording of it at this time. According to Moscow police, multiple people spoke with the 911 dispatcher.

Police rushed to the scene and reported finding four victims: two on the second floor and two on the third floor.

A coroner’s report found the victims were likely sleeping at the time of the attack and confirmed the cause of death as homicide by stabbing. Investigators say there were some defensive wounds and that each victim was stabbed multiple times in what they are calling a “targeted attack.”

Police are still searching for the knife used in the murders. They sifted through the contents of three nearby dumpsters but said nothing of note was discovered. They also canvassed local businesses to see if any fixed blade type of knives may have been recently purchased.

Steve Goncalves, Kaylee’s father, told Fox News one reason the investigation is taking so long is that the killer was sloppy and left a mess behind.

Police are also investigating multiple calls Goncalves and Mogen made to a male, who the New York Times identified as Jack DuCoeur. At a news conference Sunday, police, not verifying the identity of the male, said they believe there’s no connection between the male called by Goncalves and Mogen and the murders.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said they are making the case a major priority.

“This incident has shaken our community and has continued to shake our community. We continue to mourn for the victims. We will continue to vigorously pursue the investigation and pursue justice in this case,” Chief Fry said.

According to Chief Fry, Moscow police have dedicated four detectives, 24 officers and five support staff to the case. The FBI has 22 investigators in town with 20 additional investigators in certain areas of Treasure Valley, Salt Lake City and West Virginia. Two behavioral analysis specialists with the FBI are also reviewing the case. Idaho State Police have also committed more than 20 investigators to the case and to help patrol the community.

“Nothing we can do will bring back these young lives, but we have an absolute commitment to working together to solve these senseless murders,” Col. Kedrick Wills, the director of Idaho State Police, said.

Col. Wills said the best way for people to help the case is to stop spreading rumors or misinformation and stick to what police have shared about the investigation. Sunday, authorities pointed out certain online reports that were inaccurate.

“Please rely on official sources of information and please be patient (…) This takes time for our investigators to work through. We owe this to these young adults,” Col. Wills said.

C. Scott Green, the President of the University of Idaho, said he wants justice and for his students to feel safe. According to Green, the university has ramped up its security measures with patrols and an increased presence of authorities on campus.

“While we certainly hope there’s a swift closure with the arrest of whoever’s responsible for this crime, we must also be prepared for all the possibilities, including a lengthy investigation. We must balance safety concerns and the need to grieve along with the long-term needs of our students and our employees. We’re making security our top priority,” Green said.

In wake of the murders, Green noted that some students prefer to attend classes virtually, while others still want to be on campus. He said all reactions are valid and that professors are making plans to accommodate both sets of students throughout the end of the year. He said counseling is also available to students.

As the investigation continues, Moscow police have opened a tipline at 208-883-7180 and are requesting all outdoor video footage taken from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022 from within the specified area.

Officials are expected to provide an update on the case Wednesday afternoon at the University of Idaho.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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