Coroner: Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds - Albuquerque Journal

Coroner: Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds

SPOKANE, Wash. — Four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a rental house near campus were stabbed to death in their beds and likely were asleep when they were attacked, a county coroner told a cable news channel.

Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt also told NewsNation on Thursday that each victim suffered multiple stab wounds from a “pretty large knife.”

“It has to be somebody pretty angry in order to stab four people to death,” Mabbutt told NewsNation. The victims were stabbed in the chest and upper body, the coroner said.

Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Mabbutt by telephone Friday were diverted to an Idaho State Police spokesperson, who did not immediately return messages.

In an evening statement, Moscow Police Department confirmed the coroner reported the victims were likely asleep and that some of the victims had defensive wounds. Police additionally said there were no signs of sexual assault.

Comments from Mabbutt and the police expanded on autopsy reports released Thursday, which concluded the four students were murdered by being stabbed to death.

Officers have not identified a suspect or found a weapon.

The killings have shaken Moscow, an Idaho Panhandle town of 25,000 residents that last saw a homicide about five years ago. The leafy college town is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Spokane, Washington.

All four victims were members of fraternities and sororities: seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington. The women were roommates. The bodies were found around noon Sunday.

Moscow police released a map Friday and later its statement with a rough timeline of events leading up to the deaths. It asked the public to provide any tips or leads.

The map showed that Chapin and Kernodle were seen at the Sigma Chi fraternity house between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday. Police said it’s believed the two returned to the home by 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, Goncalves and Mogen went to the Corner Club, a popular bar in downtown Moscow, from 10 p.m. Saturday to 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Then they visited a food truck on Main Street before using a ride-hailing service to return to the house by 1:45 a.m.

Surveillance video from the food truck shows Goncalves and Mogen ordering at the window, taking photos on their phones and chatting with friends in a segment of about 10 minutes.

Police said Friday that detectives do not believe a male seen in the video was involved in the crime.

Police have said evidence at the scene leads them to believe the students were targeted, though they haven’t given details. Investigators say nothing appears to have been stolen from the victims or the home. Police also said online reports of the victims being tied and gagged are not accurate.

Detectives seized the contents of three dumpsters on the same road as the residence for possible evidence. Officers also have been contacting local businesses to determine if a fixed-blade knife was recently purchased, police said.

After initially saying there was no ongoing danger, police reversed themselves Wednesday. “We cannot say that there is no threat to the community,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said. “We still believe it’s a targeted attack. But the reality is there still is a person out there who committed four very horrible, horrible crimes.”

Two people found unharmed in the sprawling house, described by police Friday as roommates, are not believed to be involved in the case, the statement said.

Fry declined to say whether the roommates were able to provide an account of the killings or to specify who called 911. There was no sign of forced entry and a door was found open by the first officers to arrive, the chief said.

Detectives are investigating nearly 500 tips and have done 38 interviews with people who may have information about the murders, police said. The Idaho State Police, the FBI and the Latah County Sheriff’s Office are assisting with the investigation.

___

AP reporter Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, contributed to this report.

Home » Around the Region » Coroner: Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Acequias face challenges, uncertain future
ABQnews Seeker
Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ... Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ditches threaten a way of life
2
Judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide
ABQnews Seeker
Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, ... Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, mourned by officials and friends
3
New venture plans to launch technological revolution in ...
ABQnews Seeker
AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to ... AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to rebuild US technological lead
4
City, UNM hope to reduce live animal testing
ABQnews Seeker
City Council OKs plan to reuse ... City Council OKs plan to reuse normally-discarded animal tissue for research
5
WIPP begins filling new disposal area
ABQnews Seeker
New area consists of seven separate ... New area consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels
6
ABQ native son, Navy vice admiral was at Pentagon ...
ABQnews Seeker
John Mateczun maintained strong ties to ... John Mateczun maintained strong ties to New Mexico
7
A tiny NM-TX border town is raking in recreational ...
ABQnews Seeker
Customers begin lining up on a ... Customers begin lining up on a hot Friday afternoon in mid-October at Ultra Health in Sunland Park. Just a three-minute drive away, others are ...
8
For Elizabeth Kirk and her father Michael, crafting jewelry ...
Arts
Elizabeth credits growing up watching her ... Elizabeth credits growing up watching her father mold, incise and polish jewelry with jump-starting her own career.
9
A look at five items from the National Museum ...
Arts
The National Museum of Nuclear Science ... The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History provides an objective, accessible window into the past, present and future of nuclear science.
10
Buffalo 'walk in two worlds' – the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some 82 tribes across the U.S. ... Some 82 tribes across the U.S. now have more than 20,000 bison in 65 herds