Idaho police decline to say why quadruple homicide was targeted: ‘You’re going to have to trust us on that’


MOSCOW, Idaho – The Moscow Police Department said in the immediate aftermath of a quadruple homicide near the University of Idaho that the murders were an “isolated, targeted incident,” but are declining to say which of the four victims were targeted or why they believe that to be true. 

“First and foremost, we have the integrity of the investigation to preserve, and we feel like that information is integral to us and how we conduct our investigation,” Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier told reporters on Wednesday, ten days after the slayings. 

Police search a home in in Moscow, Idaho, where four University of Idaho students were killed in a quadruple homicide. 

Police search a home in in Moscow, Idaho, where four University of Idaho students were killed in a quadruple homicide. 
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

Fox News correspondent Dan Springer pointed out that releasing information to the public about who was targeted and why may improve the quality of tips that authorities receive. 

“We’ve told the public very clearly from the beginning that we believe it was a targeted attack,” Lanier responded. “To be honest, you’re going to have to trust us on that at this point, because we’re not going to release why we think that.”

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO MURDERS: THREAT STILL POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY SUSPECTS IN CUSTODY, POLICE SAY

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on Nov. 13 at a three-story residence just blocks from the University of Idaho campus.

Former Miami-Dade County homicide detective Pat Diaz said the circumstances of the attack also lead him to believe that the victims were targeted.

“This was not random,” Diaz told Fox News Digital. “I think they were targeted. I think they saw them out or they’ve seen them around.”

University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. 

University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. 
(Jazzmin Kernodle via AP/Instagram/ @kayleegoncalves)

Police have not identified a suspect or located a murder weapon, though they are looking for a “fixed-blade knife.” All four victims were stabbed multiple times and some had defensive wounds. 

“Everybody screams with a knife,” Diaz said. “They’re gonna be screaming like there’s no tomorrow.”

Police cordoned off a wide area behind the home on Monday, including a parking lot and forested area. Diaz said that that waiting eight days to expand the crime scene may have been a mistake, noting officers should be canvassing the entire area and using cell tower data to figure out who was at the home and when. 

POLICE COULD TRACK CELL TOWERS NEAR UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO MURDERS FOR CLUES IN STUDENT STABBING MYSTERY: EXPERT

Multiple individuals have been ruled out as suspects in the investigation, including Goncalves’ ex-boyfriend, both surviving roommates, the person who drove Goncalves and Mogen home that night, and a person who was spotted on surveillance video standing behind the women at a food truck hours before they were murdered. 

Investigators are seen searching parking lot area behind the  house in Moscow, Idaho Monday, November 21, 2022, where four people were slain on November 13.

Investigators are seen searching parking lot area behind the  house in Moscow, Idaho Monday, November 21, 2022, where four people were slain on November 13.
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

Flowers and a toy bear sit as a memorial at the house where four students were murdered in Moscow, Idaho. 

Flowers and a toy bear sit as a memorial at the house where four students were murdered in Moscow, Idaho. 
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

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Moscow Police Chief James Frye urged patience as authorities continue combing through evidence. 

“We still believe there’s more information to be gathered which will continue creating a window through which we view this case,” Frye told reporters. “We all want to understand why this happened and what drove someone to do this.”



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