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Moscow Police urge patience as they search for a suspect in students' murders

A group of people seated in a room with a screen at the front showing the Moscow Police badges.
Richard Rodriguez
Boise State Public Radio
Reporters waiting for a press conference with Moscow Police regarding the murders of four University of Idaho students.

Police have set up a tip line for anyone who would like to share information about this case. You may call 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us

Moscow Police released little new information about the murders of four University of Idaho students during a press conference Sunday afternoon – one week since their deaths.

Instead, they urged for the public’s patience as they process hundreds of tips they’ve already received since Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were found stabbed to death at a home just off-campus last Sunday – likely in their sleep, according to the Latah County coroner.

“It is a complex and terrible crime and it will take some time to resolve,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry, noting law enforcement has received 646 tips and conducted more than 90 interviews so far.

Authorities do not consider two surviving roommates, a man in a white hoodie found on video footage to have been near two of the women at a food truck shortly before their deaths, nor another person who drove the women home, as suspects.

All had been the subject of online rumors in recent days.

Fry debunked another assertion that the victims were found bound and gagged.

“Please rely on official sources of information and please be patient,” said Idaho State Police Col. Kedrick Wills. “I understand that everybody wishes this was solved already, but these things take time.”

Along with Idaho State Police, the FBI and Latah County Sheriff’s Office are cooperating in the case.

Officers searched the contents of several dumpsters near the home on King Road in Moscow, but they didn’t find anything they believe is related to the murders.

They are asking residents who might have surveillance video outside their homes south of Taylor Avenue to Palouse River Drive west of U.S. Highway 95 to contact Moscow Police.

The search for a suspect isn’t limited to the Palouse.

“We’re looking everywhere,” Fry said.

University of Idaho President Scott Green said students are mixed as to whether they want to continue attending classes in-person, or whether they feel safer elsewhere.

“We’re asking instructors to plan for both sets of students as we finish the semester,” said Green. “We will be communicating decisions early this week so families can discuss and plan their individual response over the Thanksgiving break.”

Classes will resume Nov. 28, with finals set for the week of Dec. 12. The spring semester begins Jan. 9.

“While we certainly hope there’s a swift closure with the arrest of whoever is responsible for this crime, we must also be prepared for all the possibilities – including a lengthy investigation,” Green said, though it’s unclear how classes may be delivered next semester.

“We must balance safety concerns and the need to grieve, along with the long-term needs of our students and our employees.”

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

Copyright 2022 Boise State Public Radio

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.

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