Cops say others were in the house on the night of Idaho murders, but still have NO strong leads
In a press conference held Sunday afternoon, police in Idaho said they still have no promising leads or a murder weapon a week after four University of Idaho students were found brutally murdered.
Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry shared that there were other people in the house when police responded to the scene on the morning of November 13, aside from the two roommates who were uninjured.
Fry also debunked a rumor that the killer may have made the 911 call that brought the police to the Moscow, Idaho, residence where Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were found stabbed. to death.
The chief stated that the call, placed at 11.58am, was made from the phone ‘of one of the surviving roommates,’ but did not share which person it was.
Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said that the 911 call placed just before noon on November 13 was made from the phone of one of the surviving roommates.
Fry also said that multiple other people had been at the home on the night that the four victims were murdered inside the Moscow residence.
The four University of Idaho students who were found dead in off-campus housing
Investigators have previously disclosed that Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, the two other residents of the off-campus house, were at home on the night of the attack.
Now, officials say there were in fact others present in the house when police were dispatched to the scene.
‘There was other friends that had arrived at the location,’ Fry said Sunday, confirming speculation that others were in the home.
Upon arrival at the home, police located the four victims – two on the second floor, two on the third floor.
‘Some of the victims had defensive wounds and each victim was stabbed multiple times,’ said Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier.
Lanier confirmed that they have ruled out Mortensen and Funke in connection with this crime, as well as a male who is seen on camera at the food truck that Goncalves and Mogen stopped at before going home.
‘Any online reports stating that the victims had been tied and gagged are not accurate,’ Lanier said, after also confirming that there appeared to be no signs of sexual assault.
Police still haven’t arrested any suspects a week out from the crime.
Kaylee Goncalves (left) and her best friend and roommate Madison Mogen
Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle. Kernodle lived at the house with the other two women who were killed, plus two more roommates. Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, was staying at her home.
Lanier said Sunday that Goncalves and Mogen had arrived home from a night out around 1.45am, around the same time that Chapin and Kernodle made it back from a different party.
The two other roommates had also been out but had gotten home around 1am, police said.
As of Sunday, November 20, Fry and Lanier said that more than 640 tips have been received and investigated.
The Moscow Police Department has assigned four detectives, 24 officers, and five ‘support staff’ to the case in addition to welcoming the assistance of the Idaho State Police and the FBI.
Despite the numerous agencies investigating, it could still be some time before answers emerge.
Fry confirmed that they still had not identified a suspect in Sunday’s killing, and confirmed there were two roommates in the house at the time of the murders.
James Fry, chief of Moscow police, is seen on Wednesday addressing a press conference
Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said last week the already complex investigation has been hampered by the Thanksgiving holiday because many potential witnesses are students who have already left the small college town of Moscow for the break.
Speaking in an interview with DailyMail.com, Thompson said: ‘I have heard nothing to indicate they have identified a viable suspect or heard evidence that could lead to a suspect.’
He added: ‘It could very well be [a lengthy investigation] – I think that all depends on the answers they’re able to find.
‘If they’re lucky, they will find answers for who is responsible for this and what happened quickly, or it could be they don’t get those answers quickly and have to keep digging.’
Thompson’s comments came as Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt released the official autopsy results and listed stabbing as the cause of death for all four victims.
Mabutt told NBC News the four had ‘extensive’ wounds and the murder weapon would have been ‘a bigger knife.’
‘It’s pretty traumatic when you have four dead college students who have been stabbed to death in one location,’ Mabbutt said.
‘We’re looking to see if there are some clues that are on them – some of the suspect’s blood, perhaps, or something under somebody’s fingernails.’
The crime happened between 3 and 4am, police confirmed.
Cops are seen investigating tire marks outside the Moscow, Idaho property where four students were murdered last week, as the hunt for their killer continues
Police received a 911 call at 11.58am with a report of an ‘unconscious person’ but discovered a bloodbath and pronounced all four dead at the property with death officially declared at noon according to the autopsy report.
Sources close to the investigation described the scene inside the home as ‘the worst they’ve ever seen’ while blood could still be seen oozing through the walls of the modest gray clapperboard property as late as Tuesday morning.
Thompson told DailyMail.com he had heard “a preliminary version” of their story and said neither are suspects but that they will face a more in-depth interview.
He said: ‘I have some preliminary information from when this was first reported on Sunday but unfortunately, it’s the type of information we can’t share publicly because if it was publicly known, it could compromise the investigation.
‘I can tell you that the investigators have been working to have a more comprehensive follow-up interview with the housemates and I have not heard the results of that yet.’
Kaylee Goncalvez, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, are believed to have been calling a ‘young man’ named ‘jack’ just minutes before they were killed in a brutal stabbing alongside Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20
In the meantime, police are working on the complicated task of contacting all potential witnesses — an effort that has been hampered by students leaving town for the Spring break.
He said: ‘One of the challenges is that many of the witnesses – people who knew and met the victims – are students and have gone home this week.
‘They’re scattered all over the western United States so investigators are trying to locate them and make arrangements to interview them which is difficult long distance because we advise our officers not to do telephone interviews.
‘In a criminal investigation, we really prefer they have face-to-face interviews with everybody. That is just one of the challenges investigators are dealing with.
Police appealed for assistance in tracking down the killer or killers
‘We’re very fortunate that the State Police have assigned a number of their investigators to help the Moscow Police Department and the FBI have also brought in a team of their investigators to help out. Just to have the manpower out there to find people and talk to them.
Police have also been conducting a search of trash cans located close to the property in an effort to find the murder weapon – believed to be a large knife, possibly made by the Olean, New York, company KA-BAR, which are used by the US Marines and other military.
Moscow Police Chief Jim Fry has only referred to the murder weapon as an ‘edged weapon’.
Scott Jutte, general manager of the Moscow Building Supply, told the Idaho Statesman that police had questioned him about whether he sold the Rambo-style knives – but he didn’t.
The murder scene home is on King Road in Moscow, a quiet cul de sac near the University of Idaho campus
‘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.
Police have faced sustained criticism – including from the victims’ families – over what they see as a slow reaction and a lack of transparency that has followed the brutal murders.
Ethan Chapin’s father Jim released a statement slamming the cops.
‘There is a lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media,’ Chapin Sr. said.
‘The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder. For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant and protect the greater community.’
Eyes all round: There are multiple homes near the property but so far, no neighbors have come forward with any information that has led to the killer.
This is the sliding door that one of the girls’ fathers believe may have been used by the killer to gain access to the home in the early hours of Sunday morning. All four victims were stabbed in their beds.
Kaylee Goncalves’s sisters have also spoken out, begging parents of students at the University of Idaho to remove them from campus.
Autumn Goncalves wrote on Instagram: ‘No one is in custody and therefore no one is safe. Whoever did this to my sisters (Maddie and Kaylee) is still out there and if he is sick enough to murder FOUR sweet, innocent humans so brutally, he is sick enough to do it to anyone else.’
She continued: ‘Our family was dreading the answer for ‘how’ and we all knew that no matter the answer, we wouldn’t like it, but we got back the worst possible answer.
‘The most dreadful way. One person against four. This person is dangerous and he is not in custody!!! How police say ‘no threat’ MAKES NO SENSE.’
She said Maddie and Kaylee, who grew up together in the Couer d’Alene area, did everything right.
‘They went out together. They locked their doors,’ she wrote.
‘They were smart and they were fighters and this STILL happened. No one is safe. Please get your loved ones home.
Another sister, Aubrie, said the lack of information had led to wild rumours. ‘This had nothing to do with drugs, and the accusations that people are throwing at Maddie, Kaylee, and her friends are extremely hurtful to read.
‘They did nothing wrong and took all the precautions they should’ve, and they were still killed,’ she added.
Like her sister Aubrie begged students to leave town. ‘Your grades are severely less important than your lives,’ she wrote.
‘You guys are not safe until this sicko is found.’
A third Goncalves sister, Alivea, told Chris Cuomo on News Nation: ‘There’s nothing – no boy problem, no threat, no high risk lifestyle that could have indicated this. It has taken all of us completely by shock and we have absolutely no ideas.’
Alivea said she accepted that authorities in small-town Moscow are ‘overwhelmed’, but added: ‘I want more coverage I want more done. I want more people speaking out.