Five days after four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death in their off-campus home, the community is deeply concerned and saddened as authorities released a map and timeline of the victims’ movements and worked to identify the suspect.
The university’s often crowded parking lot was empty Thursday after dozens of students decided to return home or leave the area following the quadruple murder in University City, Idaho, last weekend. The photo was posted by victim Kaylee Goncalves on Saturday, Nov. 12, just hours before the four students were found dead. It shows the four victims together. In a post containing four photos, the caption read: “Happy girl surrounded by these people every day 🤍”.
The community is trying to approach the tragedy with empathy, Tinno said, adding that the fact that no criminals were caught added to the sense of fear on campus. Four college students — Ethan Chapin, 20; Kelly Gonsalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21 — were spotted at their university on Sunday He was stabbed to death in a nearby shared house off campus.
Idaho State Police Communications Director Aaron Snell told CNN on Friday that the victims were found on the second and third floors of the home. Latta County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told CNN that when she arrived at the scene, she saw “a lot of blood on the wall.” She confirmed that each body had multiple stab wounds – likely from the same weapon – but did not say how many or where most were.
According to Mabbutt, at least one of the victims suffered stab wounds that appeared to be defensive wounds. No signs of sexual assault were found during the autopsy, she said. To get tips from the community, investigators on Friday released a map and timeline of the victims’ movements over the weekend. The map showed that the four students spent most of the night in pairs.
Chapin and Kernodle attended a party at the young man’s Sigma Chi fraternity home that began at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time Saturday.
Goncalves and Mogen at the Corner Club Sports Bar between 10:00pm and 10:00pm. At 1.30pm and 1.40am, they picked up food from a food truck and headed home. Two other roommates were at home when they died – and were not injured or held hostage, according to university president Scott Green.
Investigators are speaking with two surviving roommates, Snell told ABC News.
“They could be witnesses, they could be victims,” Snell said in an interview with ABC’s Keena Whitworth. “They could be the key to the whole thing.”
Police say they have no suspects. No one was “listed or excluded as persons of interest and/or suspects,” Snell said.
Investigators hope the housemates can help them “figure out what happened and why”.
Mabut said the cause of death was manslaughter. An employee at the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office told CNN that an autopsy has been completed and the results will be released when available.
The killing, which occurred more than a week before Thanksgiving, sparked broken emotions among students as authorities investigated leads to identify a suspect or find the murder weapon.
“It’s so dark. Everything’s like a cloud,” Ava Driftmeyer said. “We’re going to go as fast as we can.”
Driftmeyer, who said she lives near where four students were killed, described how difficult it was mentally and emotionally to deal with the situation.
“I just don’t think it’s that far off. … You know how crazy that is? And the fact that there’s no answer is like the worst feeling ever,” she said.
“We cannot say that the community is not under threat,” Moscow police chief James Frye said at a news conference on Wednesday. “As we’ve said before, please remain vigilant, report suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
The university also reminded students that psychological support is available to them.
“We are all still working through grief and a range of emotions. Add to that the dismay and concern that no one has been arrested for these crimes,” Green said in a statement.
“Students, we encourage you to do what works for you. Whether you go home early or stay in class, you will have our support,” Green added.