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Moscow Police have no suspect in stabbing deaths of 4 U of I students

Moscow Police Department - University of Idaho
Richard Rodriguez
/
Boise State Public Radio

After four days of telling the public there was no threat to the community following the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, Moscow Police are reversing course.

“We cannot say that there’s no threat to the community,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry at a press conference Wednesday, noting they have not identified a suspect.

“We do need to be aware,” said Fry. “The individual is still out there.”

Officers found Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves dead late Sunday morning at a residence on King Street, just a block from the University of Idaho campus.

Fry said there was no sign of a forced entry and that it appears to be an “isolated, targeted attack.”

Two other roommates were at the residence during the attack, which Fry said occurred sometime after about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

He did not say whether these roommates were the ones who called 911, nor why they didn’t call police earlier. Fry said it was not a hostage situation and the roommates were uninjured.

Autopsies on the four victims were taking place Wednesday. No weapon has yet been located.

“This horrible crime has affected all of us,” Fry said.

The FBI, Idaho State Police and Latah County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

“Their loss has been devastating and they were bright lights in our community,” said University of Idaho President Scott Green, his voice breaking with emotion.

“The weeks ahead will continue to challenge us as this loss and the circumstances around this crime become known,” said Green. “We will support each other as we grieve and we’ll move through this together as a Vandal family.”

U of I students told Boise State Public Radio they or their friends were concerned about the lack of information being shared with the public. They said they knew many students who left campus, feeling unsafe.

Asked why the university only cancelled classes on Monday, Green said some students gained comfort from being around their classmates, professors and others on-campus.

Those who chose to leave town or who didn’t attend classes will not be penalized.

“All of these absences are excused,” he said.

Police have set up a tip line and are asking the public to call if they have any information: 208-883-7180.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!