Police ‘Looking for a Suspect’ in Deaths of 4 University of Idaho Students

Little information is available about the deaths of four University of Idaho students, found dead on Sunday in an off-campus home.

Moscow Police Capt. Anthony Dahlinger, however, told the Idaho Statesman that the department is investigating the deaths as murder, and Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told the New York Times there was no evidence thus far of a murder-suicide..

“We certainly have a crime here, so we are looking for a suspect,” he told the Statesman.

Dahlinger would not classify the deaths as violent, however, even as Moscow Mayor Art Bettge called the deaths  “senseless acts of violence” in a statement and said he was the “local official” who told the New York Times the murders were a “crime of passion.” On Monday night, Bettge walked that latter statement back, telling the Statesman that a crime of passion was just one possible scenario.

“It could be any of a number of things,” Bettge said. “The police don’t know yet. I haven’t been told.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police were called to the off campus home around noon on Sunday for an unconscious person and found the bodies. Bettge told the Statesman the deaths occurred early Sunday morning, likely around 3 or 4 a.m.

The university identified the victims as:

  • Ethan Chapin, 20 – freshman from Mount Vernon, Washington, majoring in recreation, sport, and tourism management. Member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
  • Madison Mogen, 21 – senior for Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, majoring in marketing.
  • Xana Kernodle, 20 – junior from Post Falls, Idaho, majoring in marketing. Member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
  • Kaylee Goncalves, 21 – senior from Rathdrum, Idah0, majoring in general studies.

While police have said they’re looking for a suspect, they have not said if they have identified anyone as such. They have also not explained the relationships with the four victims, although it’s clear from social media posts and photographs that they knew one another.

It’s also unknown so far who lived in the apartment where the bodies were found.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.

[Featured image: Left, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle; Top right: Kaylee Goncalves; Bottom right: Madison Mogen/Instagram]