Officials in Idaho on Sunday detailed the numbers of personnel involved in the effort to solve the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students a week ago but admitted the investigation is “complex” and will likely “take some time to resolve.”
Idaho State Police director Col. Kedrick Wills directly addressed the frustration.
“We know that people want answers. We want answers, too,” he said at a news conference, acknowledging that the case was not only difficult technically but also difficult for the investigators.
Wills also encouraged those interested to “stop with any kind of rumors.”
“Please, please rely on official sources of information and please be patient,” he said. “This takes time for our investigators to work through. We owe this to these young adults.”
As CrimeOnline has reported, Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Ethan Chapin. 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20, were found stabbed to death last Sunday in the rented off-campus home the three women shared with two other women. Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, lived elsewhere and was spending the night with her. They were killed sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on November 13.
Police have said that they were alerted to the scene by a 911 call from the cell phone of one of the surviving roommates. They again declined to say who made that call but did say that person is not a suspect.
“This incident has shaken our community and continues to shake our community,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said. “It is a complex and terrible crime and it will take some time to resolve.”
Fry ticked off the numbers — 646 tips, more than 90 interviews, 33 people from the Moscow Police Department, 42 FBI agents, 2 behavior analysts, 20 state police investigations, a public information officer, multiple forensics services specialists, and 15 uniformed troopers.
Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier provided a recap of what the department has released so far and addressed what he called speculation, conjecture, and misinformation” that has spread online and elsewhere.
Lanier first reiterated that the two surviving roommates, a man in a white hoodie seen at the food truck when Goncalves and Mogen were there, and the private party who gave them a ride home are not believed to have been involved in the killing. He said that no information about the 911 call has been released, other than that it came from one of the roommates’ phones, and said again that rumors that the victims were “tied and gagged are not accurate.”
He also said the investigators “are aware” that Goncalves and Mogen made several phone calls to “a male” shortly before the murders. CrimeOnline previously reported that person was Jack DuCoeur, Goncalves’ former longtime boyfriend who is also a student at the University of Idaho. Goncalves’ family said they were certain “he absolutely had nothing to do with this at all.”
Fry, when later asked if that man had been cleared as a suspect, said, “We believe there’s no connection.”
Lanier also reiterated that investigators have no suspect in custody and have not located a weapon. He did not say — nor was he asked by reporters, who were limited to one question each — whether investigators had identified a suspect.
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[Featured image: Left, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle; Top right: Kaylee Goncalves; Bottom right: Madison Mogen/Instagram]