Police Looking for Combat-Style Knife in Killings of Idaho College Students

Police investigating the gruesome deaths of four University of Idaho students have asked a building supply company whether they sell KA-BAR brand knifes, a combat-style weapon.

Scott Jutte, manager of Moscow Building Supply, told the Idaho Statesman that officers have come by more than once to asked about the knives, although it’s not clear that it was part of the investigation into the deaths of the students, who were found dead on Sunday in an off-campus apartment.

It’s also not clear if officers have checked out other stores, including sporting goods and big box stores, that might sell the weapon.

Moscow police have said that Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kerdodle were stabbed to death with a knife, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Two other people who lived at the apartment were unharmed, they said, and not considered either suspects or witnesses. Police have also not said who made the 911 call reporting an unconscious person at the home.

Moscow’s mayor, Art Bettge, told the New York Times anonymously that the murders were a “crime of passion,” but later admitted to the Statesman that was just a possible scenario.

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

Jutte told the Statesman that an officer spoke with him about the knives on Monday.

USMC KA-BAR®, Serrated Edge/kabar.com

“They were specifically asking whether or not we carry KA-BAR-style knives, which we do not,” Jutte said. “If we did, we could’ve reviewed surveillance footage. But it wasn’t something I could help them with.”

Moscow police would neither confirm nor deny they had spoken with Jutte, the Statesman said.

KA-BAR knives were initially manufactured for the US Marine Corp in the 1940s. A number of companies made the blades, but the KA-BAR name is now a trademark of Ka-Bar Knives Inc. in Olean, New York, which makes a number of different knife models, including the descendants of the original military knife.

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