Cops 'Stumped' as They Clear Idaho Victims' Late-Night Calls

Still no suspect in slayings of four students, but 5 people have been cleared
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2022 1:54 AM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2022 3:46 AM CST
Police Clear 5 People in Murders of Idaho Students
Two people place flowers at a growing memorial in front of a campus entrance sign for the University of Idaho, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Police have reviewed and cleared the late-night phone calls made by two of the University of Idaho students who were murdered more than a week ago. Authorities announced Sunday night that they have also cleared the two surviving female roommates, who are believed to have slept through the slayings and found the victims hours later; the male seen at a food truck two of the victims visited hours before their deaths; and the person who drove those two victims home, Fox News reports. Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21, were stabbed to death in their beds, and authorities believe they were asleep at the time, though at least one victim woke and fought back. Police said Sunday they still believe this was an "isolated, targeted attack," though they did not offer any details as to why.

It was one of the roommates who called 911, and police said Sunday that other friends were also in the house when that call was made, ABC News reports. The surviving roommates, who may have been asleep on another floor of the three-story house when the killings took place, called friends to come over because they thought one of the victims "had passed out and was not waking up," the New York Times reports. The Times calls police "stumped," noting that some of the information released Sunday simply raised more questions. "The police continue to inform us that they believe this was a targeted attack. But we recognize this is not good enough for some of our students who will want to complete their semester remotely until the person who committed the crime is in custody," the university president said Sunday, assuring students that they will be accommodated if they don't feel safe on campus.

As for the late-night calls that made headlines over the weekend, Goncalves' older sister says Goncalves and Mogen were both calling Jack DuCoeur, a childhood friend of Goncalves' whom she'd dated for years until the couple decided to take an amicable break recently. The repeated calls, which DuCoeur missed because he was asleep, were not out of character for Goncalves, who was known to call people multiple times until they answered, even at late hours, and even if the question she had was something as mundane as what she should eat. Her family members "stand behind Jack 100% and know he absolutely had nothing to do with this at all," her sister says. The family says the two likely would have married eventually, Heavy reports. Police also cleared all the friends who were called to the house just before the 911 call was made. (More University of Idaho stories.)

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