MOSCOW, Idaho — The Moscow Police Department addressed concerns from students and the community who questioned their safety after four University of Idaho students were murdered in a home near campus.
“We hear you, and we understand your fears,” Moscow Police wrote in a news release. “We want you to know that we, like you, have been devastated and distressed by these young lives that were cut short needlessly.”
Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were murdered in the attack.
In the immediate hours after the students were found dead, the University sent out an alert warning student to stay away from the area. However, less than 40 minutes later, the University sent another alert stating that police did not believe there was an active threat.
What followed in the next 24 hours were few details from police about how the students died or if there was a suspect.
After canceling classes on Monday, the University resumed its schedule on Tuesday, but many students chose to leave campus and head home early for Thanksgiving break.
“My mom has called me every single hour since 7 a.m. this morning,” one student told KREM 2 News. “They want me to come home if I don’t feel safe.”
On Tuesday, police provided some answers, saying an edged weapon, like a knife, was used in the attack and confirming that they were looking for a suspect. Police also said the attack was isolated and targeted but did not explain why they believe that.
Students say the lack of answers is making it difficult.
“People can’t even focus on their schoolwork,” Annalise Mitchell said. “My sisters and I, we try our homework and it’s just not possible.”
On Tuesday night, Moscow Police once again reiterated that they do not believe there is an ongoing threat, only saying, “evidence indicates that this was a targeted attack.”
The statement comes despite police not sharing any information about a suspect nor having someone in custody.
Police said they have shared all the information they can without compromising the investigation.
“First and foremost, we continue to be steadfastly committed to ensuring the safety of our community. We want answers and deeply desire to see this case solved thoroughly and quickly and to bring justice for Ethan, Madison, Xana and Kaylee and their families. We owe it to them, their families, and this community to do all that we can do and do it well,” Moscow Police said in a written statement.
On Wednesday, members of Moscow Police, Idaho State Police and University of Idaho President C. Scott Green held a press conference at the school.
According to Moscow Police Chief James Fry, Ethan and Xana were on their way back home from a campus party during the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Meanwhile, Madison and Kaylee were at a downtown bar.
The group arrived home sometime around 1:45 a.m. After receiving a 911 call around noon, police arrived to find the lifeless bodies of Ethan and Xana. Police say no weapon has been located at this time and investigators are asking anyone with a tip to call the departments tip line at (208) 883-7180.
Police said there is still no sign of a suspect and that the individual responsible is still at large.
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