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Idaho murders: No suspect, motive in University of Idaho killings

A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found dead is displayed on a table along with buttons and bracelets on Nov. 30 during a vigil in memory of the victims in Moscow, Idaho.

A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found dead is displayed on a table along with buttons and bracelets on Nov. 30 during a vigil in memory of the victims in Moscow, Idaho. (Ted S. Warren, Associated Press)


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MOSCOW — Despite receiving almost 20,000 tips surrounding the unsolved killings of four University of Idaho students, the Moscow Police Department is telling the public to keep the flow of information coming, and that any clue could be one of the "puzzle pieces that help solve these murders."

That's according to the latest update from the northern Idaho police department, which with help from Idaho State Police and the FBI, is investigating the deaths of Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash.; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Ariz.; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Two people attending a vigil for the four University of Idaho students who were killed on Nov. 13 lean against each other as they listen to family members talk about the victims on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Moscow, Idaho.
Two people attending a vigil for the four University of Idaho students who were killed on Nov. 13 lean against each other as they listen to family members talk about the victims on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Moscow, Idaho. (Photo: Ted S. Warren, Associated Press)

On Nov. 13, a Sunday, the four students were found stabbed to death at a home in the small college town of Moscow.

The Moscow Police Department says it has since received just over 19,000 tips, most from emails, phone calls and media submissions. Police have also conducted over 300 interviews.

"We want to thank the community for all their help ... and thank everyone across the nation for the help that they've given us," Moscow Police Chief James Fry said in a video update Thursday.

Still, the department has not named a motive, a murder weapon or a suspect. On Thursday, police urged anyone with any relevant information to come forward — "Whether you believe it is significant or not, your information might be one of the puzzle pieces that help solve these murders," reads a Thursday press release from Moscow police.

"Investigators believe someone has information that adds context to what occurred on the night of the murders and continue requesting additional pictures, video, and social media content," the news release reads.

The department's statement Thursday comes as a cleaning crew prepares to remediate the property where the murders took place. On Friday, investigators and a property management company will begin "removing potential biohazards and other harmful substances used to collect evidence," police say.

The department says the residence will remain an active crime scene.

Though police have released little information to the public since the murders, "progress continues" to locate a 2011 to 2013 white Hyundai Elantra that officers think was near the residence in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, some time close to when investigators say the four students were killed.

"Investigators believe the occupant(s) may have critical information to share about this case," police said, asking anyone who owns or knows someone who owns a similar vehicle to contact the department.

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Kyle Dunphey
Kyle Dunphey is a reporter on the Utah InDepth team, covering a mix of topics including politics, the environment and breaking news. A Vermont native, he studied communications at the University of Utah and graduated in 2020. Whether on his skis or his bike, you can find Kyle year-round exploring Utah’s mountains.

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