Deaths of 4 U of Idaho Students Described as 'Targeted Attack'

Motive not yet clear, and no one is yet in custody
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2022 2:01 AM CST
Updated Nov 15, 2022 12:46 PM CST
Mystery Surrounds Deaths of 4 University of Idaho Students
People gather to pray outside of the Pi Beta Phi sorority house at the University of Idaho after four students were found dead at an apartment complex south of campus, including two sorority members, on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho.   (Zach Wilkinson//The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP)
UPDATE Nov 15, 2022 12:46 PM CST

Police in Moscow, Idaho, on Tuesday announced that it appears four University of Idaho students found dead Sunday were killed in a "targeted attack" with an "edged weapon," such as a knife. No weapon has been located in connection with the crime, no persons of interest have been publicly named, and no suspects are in custody. Still, "there is no imminent threat to the community at large," they said in a statement, reports the Idaho Statesman; the AP notes that police have said unspecified evidence found at the scene led them to that conclusion. It's believed the victims were killed between 3am and 4am Sunday. Autopsies are planned for this week.

Nov 15, 2022 2:01 AM CST

The mayor of Moscow, Idaho, says that when he mentioned a "crime of passion" in reference to the slayings of four University of Idaho students at a home near campus, he meant that was one of multiple possibilities. "It could be any of a number of things. The police don't know yet," Mayor Art Bettge tells the Idaho Statesman. He adds, to Fox News, "It’s one of any of a plenitude of possibilities, including burglary gone wrong, robbery gone wrong … any of those is a possibility and not one to the exclusion of others." Not much is clear about the tragedy except that all four students found dead are considered homicide victims; police ruled out a murder-suicide scenario, and they are still searching for a suspect.

The Spokesman-Review reports that three of the victims—Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Xana Kernodle, 20—were roommates, and the fourth, Ethan Chapin, 20, was dating Kernodle. He was also a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, located just a block and a half from the home where the four were found dead. They were killed in the early hours of Sunday, and eight to nine hours later a friend found them and called police. Authorities haven't said whether they characterize the deaths as violent, but the city's police captain says, "We certainly have a crime here, so we are looking for a suspect." (More University of Idaho stories.)

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