- Authorities on the lookout for more leads in fatal stabbing of Idaho college students.
- Two other roommates unharmed may very well be ‘key’ to investigation, authorities say.
- Victim’s father said his daughter likely fought with killer during stabbing: ‘She’s a tricky kid.’
The murder investigation into 4 University of Idaho students believed to have been stabbed to death while sleeping of their beds has left residents rattled and authorities attempting to unravel a mystery that is getting increasing attention across the country.
Sunday’s crime has reverberated through the college town of Moscow, a city of about 26,000 people near the Idaho-Washington State border. Moscow hasn’t had a murder in about five years.
The victims were stabbed to death of their beds and certain were asleep, Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told NewsNation. Mabbutt would later tell CNN that she saw “plenty of blood on the wall” when she arrived on the scene.
“It must be someone pretty offended as a way to stab 4 people to death,” Mabbutt told the cable news channel. The victims were stabbed within the chest and upper body, she said.
The coroner added that stab wounds on the hands of a minimum of one victim look like defensive wounds and that there have been no signs of sexual assault.
“We’re on the lookout for additional suggestions and leads,” said Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the Idaho State Police told CNN on Friday. “We consider that releasing information concerning the locations of the victims throughout the night might generate some information that we will follow up on.”
Snell contends that the incident was “targeted” but wouldn’t say why as now state and federal authorities are on the hunt for who killed the scholars.
Here’s what we all know up to now:
Who’re the victims?
The 4 students have been identified as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho. Each was either in a fraternity or a sorority and Kernodle and Gonclaves were roommates.
Jeffrey Kernodle, the distraught father of Xana Kernodle, told Phoenix TV station KTVK/KPHO that he spoke to his daughter by phone before she was killed.
“I feel midnight was the last time we heard from her, and she or he was advantageous,” Jeffrey Kernoldle told the station. The victim’s father said that he doesn’t understand why his daughter and her roommates were killed.
“They were just hanging out at home. Xana was just hanging out at home together with her boyfriend,” Kernodle said. The daddy said his daughter and Chapin had a extremely strong bond.
Adding that the killings “doesn’t make sense,” Kernodle told the station that the door of their daughter’s off-campus residence opened with a number code.
“So, they either knew that, or they simply sort of went around and located the slider [sliding door] open,” Kernodle said.
The daddy said the autopsy shows that his daughter likely fought together with her killer, sharing an identical description made by the coroner.
“Bruises, torn by the knife. She’s a tricky kid,” Kernodle said. “Whatever she desired to do, she could do it.”
CORONER: STUDENTS FATALLY STABBED:All 4 University of Idaho students were stabbed to death, coroner says
UVA SHOOTING VICTIM RECOVERING:UVA shooting victim Mike Hollins faraway from ventilator; ‘devastated’ by teammates’ deaths
Police release recent details
Authorities haven’t identified a suspect or found a blade that was used to stab the scholars, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday. However the Idaho Statesman reported this week that police are trying to find a military-style knife in reference to the killings.
That is much like Mabbutt, the county coroner, telling NewsNation that the killer likely used a “pretty large knife.”
Authorities on Friday released a map and timeline of the victims’ whereabouts last Saturday. The map shows the 4 students spent a lot of the night apart before meeting at home.
Chapin and Kernodle attended a celebration at Chapin’s fraternity house from around 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Goncalves and Mogen were at a sports bar between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. They picked up food at a food truck at 1:40 a.m. before heading home.
Authorities say the 4 victims were back at the home by 1:45 a.m. Sunday, in line with multiple reports.
Fry, who initially said there was no threat to the community, had a distinct tone later within the week.
“As we now have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and concentrate on your surroundings in any respect times.”
Was anyone else home on the time?
Two other female roommates were found unharmed within the house, authorities said. Moscow Police Chief Fry declined to say Wednesday if they were in a position to provide an account of the killings, say who called 911.
When a reporter described the surviving roommates as witnesses, Fry clarified: “I don’t think I ever said they were witnesses. I said they were there.”
Fry added there was no sign of forced entry at the house and a door was found open when officers first arrived on the scene.
Snell, the Idaho Police spokesman, later told ABC News on Thursday that the 2 other people contained in the house could also be vital to the investigation. Snell said the roommates have been cooperative with investigators and might help with the timeline.
“Potentially they’re witnesses, potentially they’re victims,” Snell said. “Potentially they’re the important thing to this whole thing.”
Fry has said that authorities cannot say if there is no such thing as a further threat to the community.
“We still consider it’s a targeted attack,” Fry said. “But the truth is there still is an individual on the market who committed 4 very horrible, horrible crimes.”
Contributing: Associated Press, CNN, ABC, Idaho Statesman, KTVB and KTVK/KPHO