Four University of Idaho students died over the weekend in apparent homicides that have left the school community confused and on-edge.
Police in Moscow, Idaho, identified the victims on Monday as Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
University of Idaho President Scott Green released a statement on Monday afternoon with information about each of the four deceased students.
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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. Chaplin appeared to be in a relationship with Kernodle based on their respective social media accounts.
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.
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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.
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Chapin, Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves all appeared to be friends and even posted a photo together on Instagram just hours before they were found dead.
“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,” Green said in his 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.”
He added that there is no direct threat to the school at this time. U of I canceled classes Monday and provided counseling to all students. The school will also be holding a candlelight vigil for the deceased students later this week.
“Moscow police do not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation, however, we ask our employees to be empathetic, flexible and to work with our students who desire to return home to spend time with their families,” Green said. “We do not know the investigation timeline, but we will continue to communicate to campus as we learn more.”
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Investigators searched in and around the home where the victims were found dead on Monday afternoon.
Officers on Sunday responded to reports of an unconscious person on King Road – near the university’s golf course and adjacent to Greek Row – just before noon and found the four deceased students upon arrival. Police labeled the incident as a homicide.
Moscow police did not have anyone in custody as of Monday morning.
Police investigating the incident are asking anyone with information to contact the Moscow Police Department at 208-882-COPS (2677) or Capt. Tyson Berrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.