Police dispel rumors about Idaho killings


(NewsNation) — Police on Wednesday dispelled several rumors circulating about the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students.

More than a week has passed with no arrests in connection with the deaths of Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves. The students were killed on Nov. 13 off campus at a house near the school, police have said.

No suspects have been named, but officials did publicly confirm they do not consider the following people suspects:

  • The victims’ two surviving roommates
  • A male seen in a food truck video circulating online
  • The private party who drove Mogen and Goncalves home
  • Anyone who spoke to the police dispatcher during the 911 call that morning
  • A male whom Goncalves and Mogen called several times that morning

Speculation that Goncalves was being stalked leading up to the attack also were unfounded as of Wednesday afternoon, Lanier said.

“We have heard mention that Kaylee stated she may have had a stalker,” he said. “Detectives have been looking into that and to this point have been unable to corroborate the statement, although we continue to seek information and tips regarding that report.”

Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi fraternity house while Goncalves and Mogen visited a local bar and a street food vendor in the hours before their deaths, Lanier said. All four returned home about 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13.

Two surviving roommates who also were out in the community got home about 1 a.m., Lanier said.

One of their cellphones was used to call 911 call from inside the home at 11:58 a.m. to report an unconscious person, police said. Investigators have not released the name of the person who called 911, but said Wednesday the caller is not a suspect.

“During that call, dispatchers spoke to multiple people who were on scene,” Lanier said. “Moscow police officers responded and found (four) victims — two on the second floor and two on the third floor of 1122 King Road.”

Autopsies showed the students were stabbed multiple times and were likely asleep during the attack. Some had defensive wounds, Lanier said. Officers are continuing to look for a fixed-blade knife they believe the assailant used.

Rumors that the victims were bound and gagged are false, Lanier said.

Police have said they believe the homicides were targeted attacks but declined to say why, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Although investigators previously explored the possibility of a murder-suicide, they no longer are looking into that potential explanation, Lanier said.

As the investigation continues, officers say they’re leaving no stone unturned.

So far, police have collected 103 pieces of individual evidence at the scene, Idaho State Police Col. Kenrick Wills said. Investigators have also taken about 4,000 photographs, received more than 1,000 tips and conducted 150 interviews.

“I hope … that gives a little bit of perception of just how complex this case is,” Wills said. ‘We have the utmost confidence in this investigation and that this investigation will be done right.”

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