Grieving friends and family are preparing to hold a candlelight vigil for four murdered university students, as detectives admit they still have no idea who killed them or why.
Mystery surrounds the case after the grim discovery of the bodies at the University of Idaho students’ home in King Road, Moscow, at midday on Sunday, November 13.
Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were all stabbed to death in their beds. Two other female students were also at the rented property at the time, but slept through the attacks and survived; they have been ruled out as suspects.
A Moscow Police statement, uploaded to the force’s Facebook page on Sunday evening, said: “At this time, no suspect has been identified and only vetted information that does not hinder the investigation will be released to the public.”
The police also publicized details about a vigil due to be held later this week for the victims. The University of Idaho is hosting the event across two locations and its website said the ceremony will “honor the memory of Ethan, Xana, Madison and Kaylee.” The vigil will take place on Wednesday, November 30, at the Moscow campus at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, with another event planned for the University of Idaho Boise at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time in front of the Water Center.
The university’s website added: “Please join us from where you are, individually or as a group, to help us light up Idaho. Light a candle, turn on stadium lights, or hold a moment of silence with us as we unite on campus.”
On the day the students were discovered dead, the university quickly imposed a temporarily lockdown amid fears a suspect was on the loose. But it lifted the warning just 40 minutes later, saying police had advised officials that there was no active threat.
One of the surviving student’s phones had been used to raise the alarm, when a 911 call was made reporting that someone had been found unconscious. However, when emergency responders arrived, they discovered that the housemate in question, and three others, were dead. All had been stabbed, and police later confirmed that none of them was tied up, gagged, or sexually assaulted during the attacks. Officers said later that they believed the attack had been “targeted.”
Police have confirmed that they are they still combing through tips and have appealed for anyone with information to contact them. Their statement said “no weapon has been located” and added that “local businesses were contacted to determine if a fixed-blade knife had been recently purchased.”
More than two weeks on from the gruesome murders, police remain baffled by the mysterious crime which has sparked a series of wild rumors proliferating online by would-be internet sleuths. Some have sought to link the case with other stabbings or crimes. Others had even initially accused the victims themselves, by falsely claiming the tragedy must have been a murder-suicide. That was later categorically ruled out by police and the young people’s bereaved families begged for restraint as strangers on the internet victim-blamed the slain students.
Chapin’s father, Jim Chapin, told Fox News Digital that the “lack of information” from the university and police had fueled such rumors and misinformation. “The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder,” he said. “For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant, and protect the greater community.”
On Sunday, police once again addressed the rumors. Their Facebook statement said: “There is speculation, without factual backing, stoking community fears and spreading false facts. We encourage referencing official releases for accurate information and updated progress.”