The four University of Idaho students who became the targets of what police are now calling an “isolated, targeted” attack over the weekend were apparently stabbed to death, according to authorities.
Police in Moscow, Idaho, on Sunday initially responded to reports of an unconscious individual on King Road around noon and located the four deceased students upon arrival.
Their deaths have been ruled homicides, and while “no weapons have been located, based on preliminary information, investigators believe that an edged weapon such as a knife was used” in the attack, the Moscow Police Department said in a Tuesday morning statement.
Police do not have any suspects in custody as of Tuesday.
The victims are Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
Chapin was a freshman from Mount Vernon area of Washington, according to Green. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and working to complete his major in recreation, sport and tourism management in U of I’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
Kernodle was a junior majoring in marketing at U of I’s College of Business and Economics. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, according to the school. Police said Kernodle was from Avondale, Arizona, but Green said Kernodle was from Post Falls, Idaho.
Mogen was a senior from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Like Kernodle, she was completing her major in marketing at the College of Business and Economics. She was also a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Goncalves was a senior general studies major in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. She was from Rathdrum, Idaho, and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.
The four victims and two other friends posted a group photo together on Instagram just hours before the attack.
The students’ autopsies are scheduled to be completed later this week, at which point police will” hopefully provide more definitive information on the exact cause of the deaths,” MPD said.
Police added that “based on information from the preliminary investigation, investigators believe this was an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large.”
“Investigators are continuing to work diligently on establishing a timeline of relevant events to re-create the victims’ activities on the evening of November 12 and early morning of November 13, following all leads and identifying persons of interest,” MPD said.
The incident occurred at 1122 King Road in Moscow, which is located behind Greek Row and is known to have a large presence of student residents who host parties on weekends.
One neighbor said there was a lot of noise coming from the house on Saturday evening prior to the attack.
“Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought to this world or ease the depth of suffering we feel at their passing under these tragic circumstances,” U of I President Scott Green said in a Monday afternoon statement. “No one feels that loss more than their families and friends. The university is working directly with those affected and is committed to supporting all students, families and employees as this event undeniably touches all of us.”
Investigators searched in and outside the home on King Road for evidence on Sunday and Monday.
Local authorities have partnered with state and federal law enforcement offices on the case and are asking anyone with information to contact the Moscow Police at 208-883-7054.