Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen (left); Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves (right)/Instagram

University of Idaho Slayings: Police Won’t Reveal Whether Surviving Roommates are Witnesses or Suspects

UPDATE: Idaho College Murders: Roommates at Home During Stabbings Are Not Suspects

Original Story

Two female roommates who were home when four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death Sunday haven’t been ruled out as suspects, an Idaho State Police official reportedly said.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Moscow police said Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were found dead inside a residence off of King Road Sunday afternoon, near the University of Idaho campus in Moscow.

A local official described the slayings as a “crime of passion” — although the official who made that comment, Mayor Art Bettge, later said that was just one of several possible scenarios — while Moscow police initially indicated that it was an “isolated, targeted attack, and there is no imminent threat to the community at large.”

No weapon has been located and no suspects are in custody at this time.

The communications director for the Idaho State Police, Aaron Snell, told Fox News Digital that while the roommates haven’t yet been described as victims or witnesses, they’ve also not been ruled out as suspects.

“These are people who may have seen the crime but on the flip side may have committed the crime,” Snell said. “We don’t know if they are witnesses, victims or suspects, so until we do a thorough investigation, naming them would be inappropriate.”

So far, according to Snell, the roommates have been “fully cooperative.”

“Right now, all options are on the table. We haven’t excluded anything yet. We have not come to any conclusion yet, and I know that’s frustrating to the public, but this is a very complex and difficult case.”

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. Four University of Idaho students were found dead on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, at a residence near campus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said that Chapin and Kernodle had been at an on-campus party earlier in the evening, while Mogen and Goncalves were at a bar downtown before returning home sometime after 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators believe the killings occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, hours before police received a call around noon reporting an unconscious person.

There was no sign of forced entry.

It is not clear whether those individuals were aware of the slayings at the time they occurred or why they had not reported the stabbings earlier. Fry declined to reveal what they told investigators and whether the 911 caller was one of the surviving roommates, although he said both were home when police responded.

“We don’t know why that call came in at noon and not the middle of the night,” Fry told reporters.

Fry added that the other roommates who were home were not injured and that whatever happened inside was not a hostage situation.

“We’re not just focusing on them,” Fry told reporters. “We’re focusing on everybody that may be coming and going from the residence.”

Local, state and federal authorities are continuing to investigate and collect evidence from the scene, while autopsies of the victims were set to occur today.

Colonel Kedrick Wills, director of the Idaho State Police, said all resources are being brought in to identify those responsible for the murders.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure this is done correctly and that the people that are responsible for this are brought to justice,” Wills told reporters.

Fry urged anyone with information to call a tip line at 208-883-7180.

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[Featured image: Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves (left); Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle;/Instagram]

Additional reporting by Jonathan Anderson