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Moscow police: No evidence to link University of Idaho murders with previous stabbings

Moscow Police had been asked about any connection between the deaths of four University of Idaho students and stabbings in 1999 in Pullman and 2021 in Salem, Ore.

MOSCOW, Idaho — As Moscow Police continue their investigation into the murders of four University of Idaho students, they now say there “does not appear to be any evidence to support” a link between this current case and two others in the northwest.

On Nov. 13, officers with the Moscow Police Department were called to a home on King Road in Moscow for a welfare check. Once on the scene, officers found the victims, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Ethan Chapin, dead inside the residence. The four University of Idaho students had each been stabbed with a knife.

Police have not arrested a suspect(s) or located the murder weapon.

In a news release on Friday night, Moscow Police addressed questions about the students’ deaths and two other stabbings in the northwest. Reporters asked police to confirm if there was a connection between the cases during a press conference on Wednesday.

“There have been numerous media inquiries about a 1999 double stabbing in Pullman, Washington, and the 2021 double stabbing (with one death) in Salem, Oregon,” Moscow Police wrote in a news release. “While these cases share similarities with the King Street homicides, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the cases are related.”

Police did not provide further details about why the cases don’t appear to be related.

Investigators have continued to work throughout the Thanksgiving holiday on the Moscow case.

On Friday, police said they have now collected 113 pieces of physical evidence, ten more than had been collected as of Wednesday. The evidence has been sent to the Idaho State Police crime lab for processing.

Officers are also looking through more than 260 digital media submissions that have been uploaded by people in the community. Anyone with evidence can use this FBI link.

What we know:

Police have confirmed that on the evening of Nov. 12, Kaylee and Maddie went to a local bar and a food truck before being driven home by a third party. The two girls arrived home at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13. Officers confirmed that on the evening of Nov. 12, Ethan and Xana were at a party at the Sigma Chi house, and the two returned to the residence at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13.

On the evening of Nov. 12, the two surviving roommates were out of the house, and they returned at approximately 1 a.m. on Nov. 13. They did not wake up until later that day. Officers confirmed the four victims were found on the second and third floors of the house. Investigators believe they were killed in their sleep and stabbed multiple times.

Police have identified two areas of interest, including West of Highway 95 and South of Taylor Avenue to Palouse River Drive. Detectives have seized the contents of three dumpsters near King Road but did not find anything of note. They also canvassed the area near King Road to look for evidence.

The initial 911 call was made from one of the two surviving roommates' cell phones. Police do not believe the person who made the initial 911 call is involved in the murder, nor the two surviving roommates, the man Maddie and Kaylee spoke to at the food truck or the person that drove Maddie and Kaylee home. Police revealed that other friends of the victims were at the home where officers responded, but police did not share how many friends or elaborate on their possible involvement.

On the eve of Wednesday's press conference, MPD sent a release stating investigators have "looked extensively into claims" that one of the victims, Kaylee Goncalves, may have been a victim of stalking. MPD said they have looked into hundreds of pieces of information but "have not been able to verify or identify a stalker."

Police did not announce when the next press conference about the four student's death will be held.

Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us. Digital media can be submitted to the FBI at fbi.gov/moscowidaho.

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