Police have cleared several suspects in the investigation of a quadruple homicide of four University of Idaho students on Nov. 13. Though no suspects are currently in custody, police believe the murder weapon may offer clues to the killer’s identity.
The murders took place in an off-campus housing apartment. The victims were students at the University of Idaho: Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21.
Moscow Police Department Cpt. Roger Lanier told reporters on Sunday that two men who were questioned in connection with the crime are no longer considered suspects:
“We do not believe the following individuals are involved in this crime—the two surviving roommates; a male seen at the Grubb Truck food vendor downtown, specifically wearing a white hoodie; [and] a private party who provided rides home to Kaylee and Madison in the early morning hour of November 13th.”
University of Idaho President Scott Green warned: The community “must be prepared for a lengthy investigation.”
Latah County coroner confirmed the cause of death was murder by stabbing. “It would have had to been a large knife,” coroner Cathy Mabbutt told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
Jonathan Gilliam, a former FBI special agent and Navy SEAL, said the suspect’s use of an uncommon knife (a Ka-Bar knife) might help investigators identify the killer.
Gilliam told “Fox & Friends First” Monday: “That knife is pretty much a relic. Nobody really uses that knife except for people that had them when they got out of the military, or they got handed down.”
Suggesting a path for investigators to explore, Gilliam added: “If they have ROTC at that school, that could be something that ROTC would have.”
Gilliam added that the University of Idaho had issued a “Vandal Alert” to staff and students in September. The subject line of the alert read: “Threat with Knife.”
Gilliam suggested: “This is something that they need to be looking at because the potential that this person could be a student, could be ROTC, could be somebody that lives in the area, kind of seems a little bit more significant.”
The suspect was most likely someone with the security code and access to the house or someone who surveilled the residence for some time to become familiar with the residents and their schedules, then waited for everyone to “shut down” for the night.
“I think this is where investigators are going to start looking,” Gilliam said.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.