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University of Idaho killings: Here's what we know

Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madisen Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were found dead in a home near the university's campus on Sunday, Nov. 13.

MOSCOW, Idaho — Police still do not have a suspect in the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a home near campus on Sunday according to a press conference held on Wednesday. 

The Latah County Coroner confirmed Thursday that all four were stabbed to death and listed the cause of death as murder. 

Although police have released little information, they said they believe murders were targeted.

The Moscow Police Department and the University of Idaho identified the four victims as Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin and Kaylee Goncalves. 

Here's what we know so far about the investigation: 

What police know so far

The night before the killings police say Chapin and Kernodle were at a party on campus and Goncalves and Mogen were at a bar in downtown Moscow. Video also showed the two girls at what appeared to be a food truck on Saturday night. They arrived home around 1:45 a.m.

Police confirmed the killings happened in the early morning hours on Nov. 13. 

Around noon, the Moscow Police Department received a call of an unconscious person at the house on King Road where the victims were found. When police arrived on the scene, they found the four victims had been stabbed, but they have not yet recovered a murder weapon. 

There was no damage to the front door of the home and it was unlocked when police arrived, leading them to believe there was no forced entry, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday

Based on details at the scene, police believe the killings were an isolated, targeted attack on the victims. However, Fry would not provide details as to what information led investigators to draw that conclusion. 

Police originally said they did not believe there was a continued threat to the community, however, on Wednesday, Fry said, "We cannot say that there is 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." 

When asked to elaborate on why the department's stance has seemingly changed, Fry said, "The reality is, there's still a person out there who committed four horrible horrible crimes, so I think we gotta go back to, there is a threat out there still, possibly, we don't know, we don't believe it's going to be to anybody else, but we all have to be aware of our surroundings and make sure that we're watching out for each other."

Fry said two other people who lived at the home were there at the time of the murders. They were not injured.

There are over 25 investigators working on the case, Fry said. The Idaho State Police, the Latah County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are assisting with the investigation. 

Investigators are continuing to collect evidence at the scene. Police are asking anyone with more information about where the victims were Saturday night into early Sunday morning to contact the Moscow Police Department at their tip line: (208) 883-7180.

What we know about the victims

Goncalves was a 21-year-old senior from Rathdrum, Idaho, majoring in general studies at the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. She was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. Her family remembers her as "tough and fair," who put anything she set her mind to.

Mogen was a 21-year-old senior from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, majoring in marketing at the College of Business and Economics. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. In an Instagram post, Goncalves said Mogen was the "main character in all my childhood stories." 

Kernodle was a 20-year-old junior from Post Falls, Idaho, majoring in marketing at the College of Business and Economics. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. In a statement to KING 5's Spokane sister station, Kernodle's sister said she was lucky to have her as a sibling and described her as "positive, funny and loved by everyone who met her." 

Chapin was a 20-year-old freshman from Conway, Wash., majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management at the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Chapin was a triplet. His parents described him as the comedian of the family, who played any sport he could. He and Kernodle were in a relationship.

Impact on University of Idaho students

University of Idaho Dean of Students Blaine Eckles said the school has increased campus safety patrols and said students have been utilizing drop-in counseling services that were made available following the killings. 

University President Scott Green said students are welcome to leave campus if they so choose. Green encouraged faculty to work with students that go back home. 

Due to the volume of students that left the campus, Eckles said the university rescheduled a candlelight vigil in honor of the four victims. The vigil was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but University staff did not want students driving back for the vigil. The new date is planned for Nov. 30 with additional communication to come on the timing of the event. 

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