Idaho police say they still have no viable suspects in the massacre of four University of Idaho students at their home last month, while the two roommates who survived the attack have spoken out in harrowing statements.
In the Nov. 13 stabbing at her off-campus home were: Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.
In a statement on Saturday, the Moscow Police Department said it had received thousands of tips, but “at this time, no suspects have been identified.”
Local police and Moscow Police Chief James Fry have faced heavy criticism in recent days, including from the families of the victims, for the apparent lack of progress in the case.
In the new statement, the department said that “only information examined that does not impede the investigation will be released to the public.”
“There is speculation, without factual support, stoking community fears and spreading false information,” the statement added.
Survivors Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (right) have broken their silence this Friday in harrowing statements after the murder of their four friends: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.
Moscow Police Chief James Fry is seen. Idaho police say he still has no viable suspects in the massacre of four University of Idaho students at his home last month.
The department said it received 2,645 email tips and more than 2,770 calls to the tip hotline, as well as 1,084 digital media submissions to the FBI.
Investigators are poring over 113 physical evidence and about 4,000 crime scene photos, the department said.
Meanwhile, survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, who were sleeping on the first floor of the home as the murders unfolded upstairs, broke their silence with harrowing remarks, which were read aloud by a Real Life Ministries pastor. on Friday.
Mortensen wrote moving tributes to his friends, saying that Kernodle and Chapin, who were a couple, were “the two best of friends but the perfect couple together.”
“They had this loving, unstoppable relationship. They would both look at each other with so much love. Everyone knew they were the perfect duo,” she wrote.
“They both had this fun, passionate, crazy but good energy. They were both the type of people who cared for everyone and would help anyone.’
He went on to describe Mogen and Goncalves as “an inseparable duo” who was “like a second mother to me.”
In his own statement, Funke said he wished he could give each of his roommates “one last hug” and tell them how much he “loves” them.
“You always told me everything happens for a reason, but I’m having a really hard time trying to understand the reason for this,” Funke wrote, addressing his murdered roommate, Mogen.
The Moscow Police Department has yet to name a suspect or make any arrests.
Investigators have yet to find a weapon, the department wrote in a news release Wednesday.
Autopsies determined that all four students were stabbed to death, likely with a fixed-blade knife, and investigators checked with local stores to see if any had recently sold military-style knives.
All four victims were friends and members of the Greek university system.
Xana Kernodle, 20, was a third-year marketing student. She was from Post Falls, Idaho, and joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority on campus. She lived in the rental house with the other two women who were stabbed and was dating Ethan Chapin, who was visiting the night of the murders.
Chapin, also 20, was from Mount Vernon, Washington and was a triplet. His brother and sister also attend UI, and both Chapin and his brother were members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were 21 years old and friends who grew up together in North Idaho. Mogen worked with Kernodle at a local Greek restaurant in Moscow. She was also a member of Pi Beta Phi.
Goncalves was a senior in general studies, a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, and was planning a trip to Europe next year.
Police have released statements revealing the movements of the victims on the night of the murder, in a public information request.
Goncalves and Mogen went to a local bar, stopped at a food truck and then went home to a private party around 1:56 a.m., according to a police schedule for the night.
Chapin and Kernodle were at Sigma Chi’s home, a short walk away, and returned to Kernodle’s home around 1:45 a.m., police said.
Two other roommates who live in the house also went out that night, but returned home at 1 a.m., police said. They didn’t wake up until later that morning.
After they woke up, they called their friends to the house because they believed that one of the victims found on the second floor had passed out and would not wake up.
At 11:58 a.m., someone inside the house called 911, using a roommate’s cell phone. Several people spoke to the dispatcher before the police arrived.
Police found two of the victims on the second floor of the three-story house and two on the third floor. A dog was also in the house, unharmed.
Autopsies showed that all four were likely asleep when attacked, some had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. There were no signs of sexual assault, police said.
Before Steve Goncalves said on Wednesday that his daughter Kaylee died in the same bed as Maddie, this is where the college students were believed to have died; however, it is not yet known which room on the top floor they were in.
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of their Moscow, Idaho, home. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke slept on the first floor.
Detectives on Wednesday night revealed they weren’t sure if the murdered University of Idaho students were the target of the killer, contradicting Chief James Fry, who previously insisted they were.
“We believe they are targeted because we take the totality of the circumstances that we are looking at,” Fry told reporters on November 20, a week after the killings. The statement was recently echoed by Latah County Attorney Bill Thompson.
But the department has since filed a correction, stating, “Detectives do not currently know if the residence or the occupants were specifically targeted, but are continuing to investigate.”
Nearly three weeks after the grizzly murders, few answers have emerged despite the father of one of the victims claiming the killer was “careless” and left behind a “mess” of evidence.
Anyone with information about the killings is urged to contact the Moscow Police tip line at 208-883-7180.