University of Idaho Murders: Coroner Confirms at Least One Student Had Defensive Wounds

The coroner who determined the cause and manner of death of four murdered University of Idaho students confirmed this week that at least one student fought against the elusive suspect.

According to Fox News Digital, elected Latah County coroner Cathy Mabbutt determined the manner and cause of death for Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20. The students were murdered on November 13 in their off-campus rental on King Street.

Mabbutt said although she’s waiting on the toxicology results, which would determine if any of the victims had alcohol or drugs in their system, the results won’t change the cause or manner of death in the case.

“They can be related to cause or manner of death, but they are not in this case,” she explained, adding that one of the victims had defensive wounds.

Mabbutt, whose primary job is as a defense attorney, visited the crime scene before informing the victims’ family members about the details in the autopsies. The students were found stabbed to death with what Mabbutt described as a “large fixed-blade knife” that left multiple stab wounds on the victims.

“It’s been really difficult, especially not knowing who did it and not having someone in custody,” she said.

Meanwhile, the search for the killer continues.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Moscow police said two victims were found on the second floor, and another two on the house’s third floor, which is built into a hill.

The intruder, police said, didn’t attack two additional roommates on the first floor. Investigators do not believe the surviving roommates had anything to do with the murders. Police said the suspect, who has yet to be named or found, confirmed the killer used a sharp-edged knife in the killings.

Last week, police said they were “interested in speaking with the occupant(s)” of a white Hyundai Elantra that was reported in the area around the time the students were murdered.

A white Hyundai Elantra, similar to the one seen near the murder house on the morning of the murders/Moscow Police Department

They asked anyone who owns or knows of someone who owns a white Elantra — a 2011-2013 model — to send that information to the tip line at 208-883-7180, email to, or upload digital media at

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: FILE – Bare spots are seen on Nov. 29, 2022, in the snowy parking lot in front of the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead on Nov. 13, in Moscow, Idaho, after vehicles belonging to the victims and others were towed away earlier in the day. Police are asking for help finding the occupant of a car that was seen near where the students were stabbed, saying that person could have “critical information” about the case. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)]