After four students were stabbed to death in Moscow, Idaho, more questions than answers have dogged the Idaho community — and police say they can’t keep it safe.
In an update Wednesday, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said two other roommates were in the home at the time of the incident and were not injured or held hostage. Fry also said two of the victims — Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle — were at a party on campus, while two others — Maddy Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves – at a downtown bar before their deaths.
But as of noon Sunday, no one had called 911. Frye did not say who called 911, although there were two people in the home when the killing occurred and when officers answered the call. Fry also declined to say whether the two had spoken to police. “We don’t go into what they know and what they don’t know,” he said. He said the call was to an unconscious person, not someone with a stab wound.
There was also no evidence of forced entry, the boss said. Fry acknowledged that all four victims were killed with a knife, although no guns were found at the time. As of Wednesday night, no suspects had been identified or whereabouts, Fry said. “We cannot say that the community is not threatened and as we have said before, please remain vigilant, report suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times,” Frye said.
Fry’s comments came a day after Moscow’s police department said in a release that there was no threat to the public and evidence led investigators to believe it was a “targeted attack.”
The killings and lack of information have outraged Moscow, a city of 25,000 on the Idaho-Washington border. The university town hasn’t registered a murder since 2015, according to state police. Latta County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Mikolajczyk told the Idaho Statesman that residents there are worried and are “abandoning the Dodge.” The father of one of the victims issued a statement Wednesday urging police to release more information about the killing.
“The lack of information from the University of Idaho and local police only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the media and on social media,” Ethan Chapin’s father, Jim Chapin, said in a statement. “This silence follows the murder of our son. Added to the pain of our family. On behalf of Ethan and his three dear friends killed in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to tell the truth, share what they know, find the attacker, and Protect the greater community.”
University of Idaho President Scott Green expressed his condolences in a statement Monday, echoing police’s view that there was no threat to the public. “Based on information gathered during the initial investigation, Moscow Police do not believe there is any ongoing risk to the community. However, we ask our staff to be empathetic and flexible and to work with students who wish to go home and spend time with their families.” He says. “We do not know the timeline for the investigation, but we will continue to communicate with the campus as soon as we learn more.
Green said Wednesday that the university is encouraging students and faculty to take care of themselves ahead of the Thanksgiving break. A candlelight vigil will be held on Nov. 30, said the university’s provost, Blaine Eckles. Details have yet to be finalized, he said.
CNN has reached out to the university for comment and information on the case. How little the public knows is shocking. Latta County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt told CNN affiliate KXLY what she saw at the horrific crime scene.
“There was a lot of blood in the apartment and it was a very harrowing scene to find four dead college students in their dorm room,” she said. Mabbutt said an upcoming autopsy could provide more information about what happened. “Some of the suspect’s evidence that we had during the autopsy could be helpful,” Mabut said.
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