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Moscow Police provide further clarity on investigation after University of Idaho murders

Saturday evening, Moscow Police said the 911 call was made from within the residence on one of the roommates' phones, shortly before officers arrived.

MOSCOW, Idaho — Saturday evening, Moscow Police said the 911 call was made from within the residence on one of the roommates' phones, shortly before officers arrived.

According to a press release sent Friday, Moscow Police (MPD) said none of the victims were sexually assaulted, each was stabbed multiple times, some had defensive wounds and they were most likely asleep when they were attacked. Moscow Police previously said that this murder was "isolated" and "targeted."

20-year-old Ethan Chapin, from Conway, Washington; 21-year-old Madison Mogen, from Coeur d'Alene; 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, from Post Falls and 21-year-old Kaylee GonCalves, from Rathdrum -- were all pronounced dead  at noon on Sunday, Nov. 13, the Latah County Coroner released Thursday, after a 911 caller reported an unconscious person -- who later turned out to be one of the four victims, Idaho State Police confirmed. Chapin and Kernodle were dating, according to Instagram. Police are not releasing the identity of the 911 caller and cannot speak to where the victims where found. There was no sign of forced entry.

According to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt, bedsheets have been taken for testing. Mabutt said she cannot speak to defensive wounds or the specific time of death, but all victims could have been killed with the same knife -- if it wasn't the same knife, it had to have been one very similar, she said. 

Chapin and Kernodle were at a fraternity party at Sigma Chi, located on 735 Nez Perce Dr. between 8-9 p.m on Nov. 12, police said.

GonCalves and Mogen were at the Corner Club, a bar in downtown Moscow located on 202 North Main St. between 10 p.m. Nov. 12 and 1:30 a.m. Nov. 13. The two then went to Grub Truck, a mac and cheese food truck near the bars, around 1:45 a.m. The two women were seen on the food truck video stream just hours before they were killed, ordering food and looking visibly happy. They then got a ride home from a private party, the release said.

Additionally, the press release said two surviving roommates who were home at the time of the attack, unharmed, are not believed to be involved in the crime -- and neither is the man in the white hoodie seen around two of the victims, Mogen and GonCalves, in the food truck video.

There is still no suspect in custody and a murder weapon has not been found, the release said. It also clarified online rumors about the victims being bound and gagged are untrue.

Detectives also seized the contents of three dumpsters off King Road for possible evidence and have canvassed the city for any knife purchases made around the day of the murders.

The release said police have received nearly 500 tips, which are being currently being investigated and processed. Nearly 38 interviews have also been conducted with people who could have information about the murders. 

With everyone leaving for fall break, ISP Communications Director Aaron Snell says it could prolong the investigation -- but "interviews will take place wherever the student is at."

Additionally, the release said four detectives, 24 patrol officers and five support staff of the MPD are working this case. Twenty-two investigators with the FBI are currently in Moscow, along with 20 assigned agents from the Treasure Valley, Salt Lake City, Utah and West Virginia; and two Behavioral Analysis Unit members.

"We are making progress as far as processing leads go," Snell said.

Snell told KTVB late Friday that the Behavioral Analysis Unit is creating a profile of the suspected killer, but it may not be released to the public unless it is needed to garner more leads.

Idaho State Police also has 20 investigators, 15 troopers, one Public Information Officer, a forensic services team and 15 uniformed troopers assigned to the case.

A map has been provided of the victims whereabouts before the murders.

Credit: MPD

A source that used to live in the house of the murder for three years in 2012 and attend University of Idaho, and is remaining anonymous due to safety reasons, tells KTVB that there are two bedrooms on each of the floors of the three-story home, and a slider door that leads out the back. 

The source said that around 20 feet from the slider door, near the kitchen, is a bedroom, then stairs to third floor is close by. The slider door leads out to a backyard that backs up to a remote area.

It would be hard to hear anything from the bottom level, he said. In his time living there, downstairs roommates often had parties or music turned up loud on the second floor towards the front end of the house, the source said.

“So many memories in that house that are just ruined now. It hits close to home,” the source said.

Anyone with information about this crime or a tip about the victims whereabouts, or about a suspicious person in the area is asked to call 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

Watch more coverage of this story:

Ongoing coverage of the University of Idaho investigation can be found in our YouTube playlist:

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