Idaho college student murders updates: Graduation ceremony honours victims as neighbour describes ‘scream’ from day of murder
Father of Idaho murder victim says ‘means of death’ do not match
Moscow Police have been inundated with tips about a mystery vehicle which could hold the key to solving the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students in Moscow, Idaho.
Investigators announced on Wednesday that they are searching for the occupant or occupants of a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra that was seen “in the immediate area” of the home on King Road in the early hours of 13 November.
The time of the vehicle’s sighting matches the time that Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were stabbed to death in their beds.
The occupant of the vehicle “may have critical information to share regarding this case,” police said.
Since issuing the appeal for information, tips have poured in prompting officials to direct the tip line to an FBI call centre to keep up with demand – while border agents are also on the lookout for the vehicle.
Investigators have debunked theories that the car was spotted in police bodycam footage near the house at around 3am on 13 November. The footage was from an unrelated “alcohol” incident that is not connected to the murders, police said.
‘We’re taking our time to do it right’
Moscow Police Chief James Fry is assuring the public that he’s confident his department has effectively ruled out certain suspects in the murder of four University of Idaho students.
“Many, many hours have gone into that,” he told Fox News. “Several investigators and the investigative team have all looked at their information that comes in and they have verified that those people can be cleared. What I want to assure them is we’re doing everything we can and we’re taking our time to do it right.”
Previously, officials have said cleared individuals may be re-interviewed.
So far, as we have reported, police have cleared a number of individuals of suspicion.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 20:00
Moment of silence held for Idaho victims during graduation
On Saturday, the University of Idaho held its winter graduation ceremony and featured a moment of silence in honour of slain students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.
Ms Goncalves had been planning on graduating early at the end of the winter semester and moving to Austin, Texas, for a marketing job.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 19:30
The murder that rocked Moscow in 2011
The murder in November of four University of Idaho students was not only shocking for its brutality, but because the town of Moscow rarely sees homicides, period.
Prior to the student slaying, the last homicide in town was in 2015.
But before that, another dramatic killing rocked the small town, Fox News Digital reports.
In 2011, University of Idaho professor Ernesto Bustamante shot and killed Katy Benoit, a 22-year-old psychology student from Boise, in her apartment, before killing himself.
The killing came months after the pair broke off a romantic relationship. Rowdy Hope, a friend of the professor’s, told The Associated Press Bustamante had “multiple handguns and multiple personality disorders…[including] one Bustamante calls a ‘psychopathic killer’ and another Bustamante calls ‘the beast.’”
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 18:57
WATCH: Idaho police chief tears up over student murders
The murder of four college students at the University of Idaho in November has shaken the small town of Moscow, Idaho, including their police chief James Fry.
He recently became emotional when talking about the case.
Idaho police chief tears up over student murders
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 13:00
Police receiving toxicology reports from crime scene
Police are starting to receive toxicology reports from the hair, fibers, blood, and DNA recovered at the crime scene of the University of Idaho murders, CNN reports.
These new pieces of evidence might hold the key to cracking open the case.
So far, police haven’t named a suspect or located a murder weapon.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 12:00
What are the big questions left to solve in the Idaho murder investigation?
Every individual connected to the case so far – from two surviving roommates to a victim’s former boyfriend – has been publicly ruled out by police, leaving an echo chamber with no names to fill it.
Details about the murders that shook the small college town of Moscow, Idaho, remain scant, the murder weapon is nowhere to be found and there are huge gaps in the timeline of the last known movements of two of the victims.
Investigators have admitted that they are stumped by the killings in the small, notoriously safe college town and still have no suspects or persons of interest on their radar. For the past month, officials have given little in the way of updates on the case – this silence and absence of information only serving to trigger an avalanche of online rumours and conspiracy theories among internet sleuths.
Our reporters rounded up the big questions still remaining in the police investigation.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 11:00
There may have been more roommates in house where Idaho murders took place
Moscow Police said in a statement that a sixth individual is listed on the lease for the three-storey home but that investigators “do not believe that individual was present during the incident”.
The identity of that person has not been publicly released and it is not clear when they lived at the property.
When asked byThe Independent if the individual has been ruled out as a suspect in the horrific murders, a police spokesperson said that the statement was all they could release at this time.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 10:00
ICYMI: Two flatmates who survived Idaho stabbing frenzy break their silence
Two University of Idaho students who survived a quadruple homicide at their Moscow home shared memories of their slain friends in their first public statements since the murders.
Dylan Mortenson and Bethany Funke were asleep on the first floor of their Moscow, Idaho, student rental house when their three roommates Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, and Xana Kernodle, along with Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, were stabbed to death on 13 November.
At a memorial held in Post Falls, Idaho, on Friday, a youth pastor from Real Life Ministries shared a letter written by Ms Mortenson, according to the Idaho Statesman.
She described Kernodle, 20, as the “life of the party”, adding she was “strong, intelligent, hardworking” and beautiful.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 09:00
Meanwhile in Idaho state prison …
The state of Idaho has been forced to cancel an execution it had planned for December 15 because it failed to get the lethal drugs it needed to carry it out.
Idaho was set to execute Gerard Pizzuto by lethal injection, but the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) informed the state’s Board of Correction earlier this week that the death warrant for Mr. Pizzuto recieved on November 16 should be allowed to expire.
“While our efforts to secure chemicals remain ongoing, I have no reason to believe our status will change prior to the scheduled execution on December 15, 2022,” IDOC Director Josh Tewalt wrote in a memo quoted in a department Facebook post. “In my professional judgement, I believe it is in the best interest of justice to allow the death warrant to expire and stand down our execution preparation.”
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 07:59
Who was the intended target of the Idaho killer? One family has a theory
Steven Goncalves, father of 21-year-old Kaylee, said that the suspect went upstairs where his daughter and her best friend Mogen, 21, were sleeping on the same bed on the top floor, which was out of the way of the killer’s entry point.
Authorities said that the perpetrator entered the house through a sliding glass door or window on the second floor of the home, which meets a hill on the ground level in the backyard.
The other two victims — Kernodle and Chaplin — were found dead on the second floor of the house.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has the story.
Josh Marcus11 December 2022 07:00