Idaho murder victim’s sister calls for students to flee town as police admit threat is wider than thought

Police say suspect still at large with no trace of muder weapon

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 17 November 2022 14:02 GMT
Police investigating the killing of four University of Idaho students
Police investigating the killing of four University of Idaho students (©Daily News)
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The sister of one of the four students fatally stabbed in Idaho has urged students to leave the town of Moscow as the killer still remained at large, with the police confirming a threat to the community.

The bodies of University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were found in an off-campus home in Moscow on Sunday.

According to the police, the victims died of stab wounds from an “edged weapon such as a knife”, which hasn’t been recovered yet.

The authorities earlier insisted it was an “isolated, targeted attack” but on Wednesday said that a larger threat to the community has not been ruled out.

"No one is in custody therefore no one is safe," Autumn Goncalves, the younger sister of Kaylee Goncalves, said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

"If you have friends, family or loved ones in Moscow our family encourages you to get them home," the sister added.

She continued: "Whoever did this to my sisters (Maddie and Kaylee), Xana and Ethan 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."

"This person is dangerous and he is not in custody. How police say ‘no threat’ MAKES NO SENSE."

The town of nearly 25,000 people nestled on the Idaho-Washington border has been on the edge with conflicting statements and a lack of information from the police.

As of Wednesday evening, there is neither identity nor location of a suspect, said Moscow police chief James Fry.

The weapon used for the murders remained missing, he said, adding that there was no evidence of forced entry.

“We cannot say there’s no threat to the community and as we have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times,” Mr Fry said.

He said that there were two additional roommates in the home at the time of the murder who were not held hostage or injured.

Mr Chapin and Ms Kernodle were at a campus party while the other two victims were at a downtown bar prior to their deaths. All of them arrived home after 1.45pm local time and were killed sometime in the early morning hours of Sunday, the police chief said.

He did not say who called 911 and declined to say if the police had contacted the two people who were at the home.

Jim Chapin, the father of Ethan Chapin, in a statement, asked the police to release information about the killings.

“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,” Mr Chapin 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.”

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