Moscow Police debunk rumors in murder investigation

Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; ; and Madison Mogen, 21were found...
Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; ; and Madison Mogen, 21were found stabbed to death at a home in Moscow, Idaho, according to authorities.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:16 AM MST
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MOSCOW, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —In an attempt to clear up false information that’s been spreading about the case, Moscow police this week debunked several theories.

“There is speculation, without factual backing, stoking community fears and spreading false facts,” the Moscow Police Department said in a news release Friday.

Additionally, authorities investigating the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death last month say they have received thousands of tips from the public

Four University of Idaho students were found dead on Sunday, Nov. 13 in an off-campus rental home.

The victims were identified as Ethan Chapin, a 20-year-old from Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, a 21-year-old from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, from Rathdrum, Idaho. Moscow PD identified the deaths as homicides, and believe the attacks were targeted but have not clarified if one of the victims was the target or the house was the target.

No suspect has been identified, and no murder weapon has been located.

At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe the following are involved in this crime:

  • Two surviving roommates,
  • Male in the Grub Truck surveillance video.
  • Private party driver who took Kaylee and Madison home on November 13th,
  • The male Kaylee and Madison called numerous times during the early morning hours of November 13th,
  • Any individual at the residence when 911 was called, or
  • The individual on the lease who moved out of the residence before the school year started and was not present at the time of the incident.

Additional information related to the investigation:

  • Currently, no suspects are in custody, and no weapon has been located.
  • On the night of the incident, officers located a dog at the residence. The dog was unharmed, turned over to Animal Services, and later released to a responsible party.
  • Local businesses were contacted to determine if a fixed-blade knife had been recently purchased.
  • Detectives seized the contents of three dumpsters on King Road to locate possible evidence.
  • Gov. Brad Little directed up to $1 million in state emergency funds for the ongoing investigation

Throughout the investigation, detectives have collected:

  • More than 2,770 calls to the Tip Line at 208-883-7180
  • Over 2,645 emails at tipline@ci.moscow.id.us
  • Over 1,084 digital media submissions to the FBI link
  • 113 pieces of physical evidence collected and taken to the ISP crime lab
  • Approximately 4,000 crime scene photographs taken

Rumor control:

  • There has been extensive media interest regarding an incident at Taylor Avenue and Band Field on November 13, 2022, at 3:01 a.m. This incident was an alcohol offense which was addressed by the on-scene officer. This call is not related to the murder investigations. For further details regarding this incident, a Moscow Police Department Public Records Request can be submitted referencing incident number 22-MO9896.
  • We have not changed our belief that the murders were a targeted attack. However, investigators have not concluded if the target was the residence or its occupants.
  • There have been media questions about a September 12th, 2022, incident regarding an argument between a group of people walking on the University of Idaho bike path and a cyclist. It was reported that during the confrontation, the cyclist displayed a folding knife. Both parties dispersed, and there were no injuries. The cyclist turned himself into the police. The case was investigated and misdemeanor charges were referred to the Moscow City Attorney’s Office. There is no connection between the individual involved in this incident and the current murder investigations.
  • There have been media questions regarding a February 2022, death on Baker St. The Latah County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the death was due to an overdose. This case is not related to the ongoing murder investigation.
  • There have been online reports of a red Mustang on S. Deakin St. being processed as part of the murder investigation. This information is not accurate, and the vehicle is not connected to this incident.
  • The identity of the 911 caller has not been released.
  • 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. While these cases share similarities with the King Street homicides, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the cases are related.
  • Detectives are aware of a Latah County Sheriff’s Office incident of the report of a skinned dog but do not believe there is any evidence to support it is related to this incident. Contact Latah County Sheriff’s Office for further details.
  • Detectives are also aware of a Moscow Police incident of the report of deceased animals left on a resident’s property. This was determined to be wildlife activity and not related to the murders.
  • Online reports of the victims being tied and gagged are not accurate.