MOSCOW, Idaho – As friends and family gather on the University of Idaho’s campus this weekend for fall graduation, feelings of excitement and relief to be finishing school — or the semester — are shrouded by an air of mystery surrounding the Nov. 13 murders of four students.
Moscow authorities have not named any suspects or made any arrests in the case since the four students — Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21 — were stabbed to death in their home near campus between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. that Sunday.
“With commencement this weekend, there will be an influx of people coming in from out of town,” the Moscow Police Department (MPD) said in a Saturday morning press release, adding that the department and “Idaho State Police will provide coverage on campus and in the Moscow area. As always, we want to remind the public to stay vigilant, travel in groups, and communicate with family and friends as you travel.”
University President Scott Green remembered the slain students as “bright lights on our campus and cherished members” of the U of I community during his Saturday commencement speech before holding a moment of silence in their memories.
On Friday evening at The Corner Club, a popular U of I watering hole where Goncalves and Mogen were seen on the evening of Nov. 12, a student told Fox News Digital that she hadn’t seen the bar so crowded since homecoming weekend in September.
Dozens of friends and family celebrated in the brightly lit bar that is an easy walking distance from downtown Moscow, where Goncalves and Mogen later stopped by a food truck in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 before they returned home around 1:56 a.m.
Their roommate, Kernodle, and her boyfriend, Chapin, had returned home slightly earlier at 1:45 a.m. after spending the prior evening at the Sigma Chi house on campus. Hours later, the four friends, who were all part of Greek life at the school, were murdered, likely while sleeping, according to the Latah County coroner.
The four victims were stabbed multiple times, and some had defensive wounds.
It’s been a tough few years for seniors. Just as students were making up for time lost with each other during the coronavirus pandemic, tragedy struck. Students on campus are concerned and confused why the killer hasn’t been caught yet. They’re also looking out for each other, traveling in groups and trying not to spook each other. Final exams are on Dec. 12, and students are preparing to leave campus for the second time after the murders and Thanksgiving break.
Students who left campus for Thanksgiving break were given the option to stay home and learn remotely. An estimated 25% to 40% of the school’s 11,500-person population did not return to campus after the holiday.
Investigators continue to search for a white, 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra that was spotted near the crime scene in the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Police believe the occupant(s) of the vehicle on that morning may have information that is pertinent to MPD’s investigation.
MPD has six detectives and five support staff assigned to the case with help from 46 FBI investigators in Moscow and throughout the United States, two Behavior Analysis Unit investigators, 13 Idaho State Police investigators and 15 uniformed troopers.
Police also have yet to announce any kind of motive in the quadruple murder.
Tipsters can submit information related to the crime or the vehicle to the Tip Line at 208-883-7180 or the MPD tip email” [email protected]