University of Idaho Murders: What We Know So Far

The murders that have baffled a community and left citizens on edge has made national headlines, here is what we know so far.

Four students from the University of Idaho were found dead in an off-campus home on Sunday Nov. 13 in what police are calling a homicide.

The Moscow Police Department identified the victims as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, and confirmed that all four were students at the University of Idaho.

"It is with deep sadness that I share with you that the university was notified today of the death of four University of Idaho students living off-campus believed to be victims of homicide," University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement on Facebook soon after the police announced their discovery.

Police have not identified any suspects and are appealing for calm as frightened students flee the campus. Several classes have been canceled indefinitely, with one faculty member tweeting he cannot in good conscience teach again until the suspect is in custody.  

“We hear you, and we understand your fears,” police said in a statement. “We do not believe there is an ongoing threat for community members."

The murders that have baffled a community and left citizens on edge has made national headlines. Here is what we know so far.

How Police Were First Alerted to the Killings

Police announce that on they responded to the off-campus Moscow home after receiving a call on Nov. 13 of an unconscious person. When they arrived, they found four dead individuals. The four friends were believed to have been killed between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. 

University of Idaho canceled classes that day out of respect for the victims. Some classes would then be cancelled indefinitely.

“The Moscow Police Department gives our heartfelt condolences to family members, friends and the Moscow community,” authorities said in a press release.

Identifying Some of Kaylee Congalves's and Madison Mogen's Last Movements

Video is released of two of the University of Idaho students hours before they were killed. Kaylee Congalves and Madison Mogen were seen at a popular food truck near the campus after going to a bar. In surveillance footage from that time, a man appears to be watching them.  

After ordering, Mogen saw a friend and embraced him. After getting their food, Congalves took a video and they walked off together. The man spotted watching the young women gestures toward them and then walks off in the same direction.

It is believed police know who he is. Police have now cleared the man of any involvement in the murders.

“Kaylee was aware of her surroundings. Maybe a little overly aware which is also why all of this is so confusing for us,” Congalves's sister, Alivia, told Inside Edition. “Kaylee is not stupid. She's a smart girl, she's a strong girl, she's a mean girl. She's a fighter.”

Ethan Chapin's Parents Dispel Rumors

Ethan Chapin's parents also spoke out to KING 5 to dispel rumors.

“There is not drugs involved, there is not some weird love triangle. He had stayed the night at his girlfriend’s house, who was one of five girls who lived in the home,” Stacy Chapin, Ethan Chapin’s mother, told KING 5.

“We're just trying to process it,” she said. “It's not a call that you think that you're going to, have to speak with the funeral home directors, and the FBI and have it hit national news.”

A Weapon Is Identified, But Not Found

Investigators have been visiting stores asking if there had been any sales of what’s called a Rambo knife, leading some to wonder if such a blade was used to carry out the killings.

Rambo knives have seven-inch long steel blades, part of which are serrated.

Police have not found the weapon used to kill the four students.

Autopsies on the four students killed found each had been stabbed multiple times, some had defensive wounds, showing they fought with the attacker and there was no sexual assault. County Coroner Cathy Mabbut described the killings as “personal” and that the victims were found in their beds.

Kernodle’s father said her wounds showed she fought for her life.

“She had bruises caused by the knife or whatever. She's a tough kid,” he said. “Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it.”

Two Surviving Roommates 

Authorities have revealed two other roommates were inside the house when the four students were slaughtered. The two roommates who were not harmed in the attack are not suspects and have been cooperating with the investigation.

The 911 call that kicked off the investigation into was not made by either of the two roommates who were unharmed in the attack. Police Chief James Fry said cops weren’t called to the house until nine hours after the murders took place.

The killer apparently bypassed the bedroom of the two young women who lived in the six-bedroom, three-bathroom house who were not attacked.

“Their story was, they heard partying, they heard noise, but they just, as usual, said, there's partying going on and they locked the door,” former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman told Fox News. He now lives in Idaho. 

Police confirmed on Nov. 20, that there were additional people other than the two surviving roommates inside the off-campus house where four students were found stabbed to death at the time the 911 call was made.

In a press conference on the 20th, a week after the students were found dead, Moscow Police Chief James Fry, revealed the 911 call was made using one of those roommates' phones, but he would not confirm the caller's identity.

Fry also said during his 23-minute press conference that police are not sure exactly how many people were in the home when the 911 call was made, but that there were "other friends that had arrived at the location" present but did not specify when they arrived, CBS News reported.  

Other Theories Explored

Fuhrman, known for investigating the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the O.J. Simpson murder case, now lives in Idaho and is claiming that Kaylee Goncalves had a stalker.

“I talked to one student, and I agree it was twice removed from the person that said it, Kaylee, but Kaylee two months ago complained about a stalker,” he said on Fox News.

Separately, other residents spoke of how a local pet dog was found “skinned” and killed just weeks before the murders of the four students, sparking fears in the community that the incidents could be linked, according to reports.

Buddy, a 12-year-old mini Australian shepherd that belonged to Pam and Jim Colbert, was skinned and left with just fur on his legs and face when he was killed after they let him out of their Moscow home on Oct. 21, the New York Post reported.

Buddy was found just three miles and three weeks from the off-campus home where the four students were found dead, the New York Post reported.

“It was like a deer that someone had hunted,” Pam Colbert, 78, told the Daily Mail. “They cut him around the neck and just skinned him. His little legs had fur and his little face had fur, but the rest of him was just skinned.”

She also described the dog as being “cut like you filet a fish. We found his collar, but we didn’t find the pelt,” in her interview with the Daily Mail.

“The other side of him was as though they had filleted him like they were about to eat him. It was terrible, unbelievable,” she added. The news of Buddy’s killing sparked fears in the community that the two incidents could be linked, however, the Latah County Sheriff’s Office does not believe so at that this time.

A spokesperson for the Latah County Sheriff's Office tells Inside Edition Digital in an email, “We have nothing to indicate these two cases are connected in anyway.  We have passed all the relevant information from this case to the Moscow Police Department.  We do think the dog was killed by a human.”

The Moscow Police Department says that anyone who observed notable behavior, has video surveillance, or can provide relevant information is asked to call the Tip Line at 208-883-7180 or email

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