Mayor: 4 Idaho Students Died in 'Crime of Passion'

The deaths, in a home near campus, are suspected homicides
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 14, 2022 1:41 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2022 6:45 PM CST
4 University of Idaho Students Found Dead in Home Near Campus
Officers investigate the suspected homicides at an apartment complex south of the University of Idaho campus on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.   (Zach Wilkinson/Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP)
UPDATE Nov 14, 2022 6:45 PM CST

The four University of Idaho students found dead in a home near the campus Sunday have been identified, and the mayor says the suspected homicides were a "crime of passion." The students were 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, per the Spokesman-Review. Moscow, Idaho, Mayor Art Bettge tells the New York Times that authorities are still trying to determine what happened, but investigators believe there is no "perceivable danger to the broader public." The mayor declined to say whether there is a suspect at large.

Nov 14, 2022 1:41 AM CST

Police are investigating the deaths of four University of Idaho students found Sunday in a home near the campus, the AP reports. Officers with the Moscow Police Department discovered the deaths when they responded to a report of an unconscious person just before noon, according to a press release from the city. Police have called the deaths suspected homicides, which generally means the killing of one person by another, though the term doesn’t necessarily suggest death was intended or committed in a criminal manner. Authorities did not release additional details, including the cause of death. Police said more information would be shared once family members were notified of the deaths.

“It is with deep sadness that I share with you that the university was notified today of the death of four University of Idaho students living off-campus believed to be victims of homicide,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement posted to Facebook Sunday night. “Out of respect for these fellow Vandals, classes statewide and online are canceled Monday, Nov. 14.” The university said counselors would be available for students at the campus counseling center, while employees could access assistance through an employee assistance program. Green urged people to reach out if they were concerned about classmates or coworkers.

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“An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind,” Green wrote. “As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up.” Shortly after the bodies were found, the university advised students to shelter in place for about an hour until investigators determined there was no active threat to others in the region. The Moscow Police Department said the investigation was ongoing and asked people with information to call the department. The city of Moscow is a close-knit college town nestled in the rolling hills of north-central Idaho, about 80 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington.

(More University of Idaho stories.)

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