Idaho student murders: Police believe four killed in ‘targeted attack’
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Police investigating the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students have sparked confusion over whether or not the killings were “targeted”, as they accused the local prosecutor of “miscommunication”.
Ever since Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kerndole and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death on 13 November, investigators have claimed the attacks were “targeted”.
On Wednesday, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said in interviews that it was “perhaps not the best word to use” before saying that the “attack was intended for a specific person”.
Hours later, Moscow Police clarified that officials “do not currently know if the residence or any occupants were specifically targeted” and that Mr Thompson’s comments were the result of “miscommunication”.
The walk back comes as the first lab results from the crime scene came back and as the victims’ families gave emotional speeches at a vigil at the university campus on Wednesday evening.
Goncalves’ father Steve Goncalves vowed to “get our justice” and revealed that his daughter died in the same bed as her best friend Mogen.
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‘Targeted’ may not be ‘best word’ for Idaho college murders, Moscow officials admit
From the outset of the investigation, Moscow authorities have insisted the attack was ‘targeted’ – but have refused to reveal what has led them to that conclusion.
Now, the local prosecutor is walking the claim that the killings were “targeted”, admitting it “perhaps isn’t the best word to use” to describe the brutal murders.
“It seems like the word targeted has different understandings for different people who are listening and perhaps isn’t the best word to use,” Latah County Prosecutor Prosecutor Bill Thompson told NewsNation on Tuesday.
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 06:00
University of Idaho celebrates vigil in tribute of victims
School officials acknowledged the pain and fear in the community, as the killer remains at large.
“We don’t know how long this investigation will take and we don’t know the ‘why’ behind this horrific act, but what we do know is we will all come together,” Dean Eckles said.
“What you are feeling is real,” he added. “The sadness. The confusion. The worry and the anxiety. It’s OK to have those feelings. I have them too.”
The event concluded with a reading of the victims’ names along with a moment of silence, as students held lights and phones up in the air.
The Independent has the story:
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 05:00
Each individual so far linked to the murder investigation has now been ruled out as a potential suspect
Goncalves’ former long-term boyfriend, with whom she shares a pet dog Murphy, is also not being considered a suspect.
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 04:30
Five vehicles are seized by police
The Moscow Police Department said on Tuesday afternoon that it was moving five vehicles away from the crime scene to a “secure” location to properly scrutinise them for evidence.
“Today, as part of the ongoing homicide investigation and original search warrant, there will be an increase in detective activity and tow trucks on-site as investigators move five vehicles from within the police perimeter to a more secure long-term storage location to continue processing evidence,” the department said.
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 04:00
‘Xana loved her dog, Shoeshine, enjoyed EDM music, going to concerts, spending time with her friends’
An obituary for Xana Kernodle, detailing how she “passed away far too soon”, was posted in local paper CDAPress on Wednesday.
“Xana Kernodle of Post Falls, Idaho, sadly passed away far too soon Nov. 13, 2022, at the age of 20,” it reads.
“Xana was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at Kootenai Health Hospital on July 5, 2002.”
“Xana grew up in Post Falls and was a talented gymnast as a child. She attended Post Falls Middle and High School, where she played volleyball, track and soccer until she graduated in 2020.”
“During high school she worked at Texas Roadhouse and went on to attend the University of Idaho, where she majored in marketing and was an active member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and the Vandal Solutions Sales Team. When she wasn’t participating in these activities, she was working at her part-time job at Mad Greek Restaurant in Moscow, Idaho.”
This July 2022 photo provided by Jazzmin Kernodle shows University of Idaho students Xana Kernodle, right, and Ethan Chapin
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 03:30
Lab results come back to investigators
Idaho State Police Communications Director Aaron Snell told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that investigators were starting to receive the results from forensic testing.
“I do know that each type of testing… some take longer than others. And I also do know that there have been results that have been returned and those go directly to the investigators, so that way they can help, again, paint that picture as we keep talking about,” he said.
Mr Snell refused to reveal whether DNA that did not belong to the four victims or the two surviving roommates had been found at the crime scene as it is hoped that the forensics could finally provide some clues to lead police to the killer.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco have the story:
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 03:00
Madison Mogen’s father remembers happy memories with his daughter
Ben Mogen, father of Madison Mogen, shared a touching story about seeing a Mac Miller concert with his daughter.
The two loved seeing live music together, and Maddie was disappointed when the rapper came to town and Ben was unable to score tickets.
Then, on the final night before the show, he won a radio contest and was able to take Maddie and her friends after all on special VIP passes, which included a meet-and-greet with the artist.
“That was the happiest memory I could think of that we shared together,” Mr Mogen said, describing his daughter as a hard-working young woman who treated everyone with kindness.
Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 02:30
A timelime of the events
Despite more details becoming available in the two weeks since the murders took place, key pieces of what happened in the early morning hours of 13 November remain missing.
Police have revealed the victims’ last steps, yet the timeline becomes blurry as the second part of the night of the murders progresses.
The pair walked straight down Main Street to a red brick building that used to host the now-defunct Garden Lounge; a favourite food truck, Grub Wandering Kitchen – fondly called Grub Truck by its many local fans – often parks outside on Main Street.
Goncalves and Mogen ordered, laughed and chatted with friends as they got their pasta carbonara; according to police, they got a lift home from a “private party” and returned to King Road around 1.56am.
Kernodle and Chapin returned to King Road at around 1.45am. The young couple had gone to a party across the road at Sigma Chi.
The other two roommates at King Road – who have still not been named by authorities – had gotten home first, around 1am, and fallen asleep, according to police.
Mogen and Goncalves both made multiple calls to the same number around an hour after they got home.
Goncalves’ sister said the unanswered calls were placed to her ex-boyfriend, who’d dated her sister for years before they amicably split, still sharing a dog named Murphy. He has been ruled out as a suspect.
Authorities believe a killer or killers fatally stabbed Chapin, Kernodle, Goncalves and Mogen between 3am and 4am.
Their bodies weren’t found until nearly nine hours later, around noon on 13 November.
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 02:00
Ethan Chapin’s family remembers him during vigil
“Make sure that you spend as much time as possible with those people because time is precious and it’s something you can’t get back,” Stacy Chapin, the mother of Ethan Chapin, said onstage as she choked up.
She recalled how her son loved country music and spending time on the lake in the family boat.
Snow blanketed the campus of the University of Idaho on Wednesday evening, as students, families, and community members joined together for a vigil remembering four students who were brutally murdered earlier this month.
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 01:30
Everything we know about the 911 call
The 911 call was made at 11.58pm on 13 November and originated from the phone of one of the two roommates who survived the attack.
A dispatcher was told there was “an unconscious individual.”
“The surviving roommates summoned friends to the residence because they believed one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up,” a statement by Moscow PD read.
“Multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher before a Moscow Police officer arrived at the location. Officers entered the residence and found the four victims on the second and third floors.”
Andrea Blanco2 December 2022 01:00