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Police say still no suspect, person of interest in University of Idaho murders

Aaron Snell, Idaho State Police communications director, could not give any specific information about why investigators still believe it was an isolated attack.

BOISE, Idaho — After the killing of four University of Idaho students, police say they still have no suspect or person of interest.

On Nov. 13, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were stabbed in a house on King Road near the university's campus in Moscow. Aaron Snell, Idaho State Police communications director, said they still think it was an isolated and targeted attack.

But said he cannot explain why they believe that is the case.

“To provide that answer, you know, that would be providing investigative and evidentiary information,” Snell said. “Based on what we’ve seen at the scene, knowing the fact that the house did not appear to have been broken into or forced entry, detectives and the chief of police feel very comfortable or confident in saying that this was undoubtedly directed and targeted.”

The Moscow Police Department said they have not been able to verify or identify a stalker. Snell could not answer whether any of the victims filed police reports about someone following them or a stalker before their murders.

Police have received more than 700 leads and interviewed 90 people. When asked why it has taken so long to identify a person of interest or suspect, Snell said, “this is a very complex case. We have excellent detectives. However, it’s a large scene.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Moscow Police tip line at 208-883-7180. Tips may also be submitted via email to tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

Police confirmed the four victims were killed on the second and third floor of the house. Snell could not give any specifics about who was where and what order they were stabbed.

Snell said their biggest priority is gathering surveillance video from the neighborhood where this horrific stabbing attack happened.

“Something that’s not there might tell us just as much as something that is there,” Snell said. “It might not have to be a person walking by or a speeding car. If there’s nothing in the video, we also want to know about that. That can help us paint that picture.”

Police are only providing information to the public that will not hinder the investigation, Snell said. Detectives looked through three dumpsters near the house on King Road to find any evidence.

Investigators also contacted local business owners to see if someone recently bought a fixed-blade knife, which was the weapon used in the murders. Snell said neither looking through the dumpsters or contacting the businesses led anywhere.

He said investigators are still collecting evidence at the scene but could not confirm what sort of DNA they are collecting.

The FBI also has two behavioral analysis units on the case. Snell could not comment of whether they plan to release a description or profile of a possible suspect.

With no suspect in custody, some students who talked with KTVB last week said they do not feel comfortable returning to Moscow.

University of Idaho students can complete the rest of their semester at home. Faculty are preparing both in-person teaching and remoter learning options for students, according to a university press release.

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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