Idaho State Police have augmented four campus patrols and 14 general community patrols as the University of Idaho held a vigil for the four students who were fatally stabbed earlier this month on Wednesday night.
Several hundred people attended the vigil to remember the victims: Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21.
Several members of the family spoke about their loved ones.
“We lost four lovely beings,” said Steve Goncalves, Goncalves’ father. Later, he advised others who were watching to find someone they care about and tell them. “Love is the only cure for pain,” he remarked.
Stacy Chapin, Chapin’s mother, spoke about how close their family was. When they could, they shared meals, played games, and spent days on the boat listening to country music, Ethan’s “most favorite thing in the entire world.”
“We will be eternally grateful that we spent so much time with him,” she stated, before imploring the audience to do the same with their family. “Because time is valuable and can never be replaced.”
The parents, including Mogen’s father, who spoke fondly of his “wonderful daughter” who was “simply lovely to everybody,” also expressed gratitude to law enforcement and university officials for their efforts since the November 13 slayings.
Investigators have yet to identify a suspect or locate the murder weapon, but an Idaho State Police representative told Fox News that forensic testing results have begun to arrive.
“I am aware that each form of testing… takes longer than others.” And I also know that there have been findings returned, and those have gone immediately to the detectives, so that they can help, again, paint that picture that we are talking about,” spokesperson Aaron Snell said, declining to disclose who the DNA belonged to.
The probe is being assisted by state police in Moscow, a metropolis of around 26,000 people. Because of the mystery and lack of information surrounding the unsolved killings, the campus was less crowded than usual during Thanksgiving break.
While no official figures are available, Provost and Executive Vice President Torrey Lawrence told that teachers are reporting that roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of students are attending in person.
“This is a difficult circumstance, and we are going forward by attempting to support all of our employees, our faculty, staff, and students, and to address their needs,” Lawrence explained.
People are “sketched out,” according to one student because the killer has not been discovered.
“It definitely seems different,” student Hayden Rich remarked. “It appears to be a melancholy setting.” It’s rather silent.”
Snell told CNN on Tuesday that the number of 911 calls has increased while the crimes remain unresolved. The majority of such calls are for “suspect person” activities or a “welfare check.”
“We recognize that there is heightened concern in the community, so the officers are responding to those calls and handling them as they come up,” Snell explained.
Last Monday, University of Idaho President Scott Green recognized that some students did not want to return until a suspect was apprehended.
“As a result,” he added in a statement, “staff has been encouraged to provide in-person teaching and remote learning choices so that each student can choose their way of participation during the final two weeks of the semester.”
Hundreds of local, state, and federal detectives are still trying to figure out who carried out the heinous attack. Investigators have gone through more than 1,000 leads and conducted at least 150 interviews but have failed to identify a suspect or find a weapon, which is thought to be a fixed-blade knife.
The four students were discovered stabbed to death in a Moscow off-campus residence. The killings have shaken the university community as well as the town, which has not had a homicide since 2015.
Police have stated that they believe the killings were “targeted” and “isolated,” but have not revealed any evidence to support that claim. They also first stated that there was no danger to the public, but later retracted that statement.
“We cannot say there is no threat to the community,” Police Chief James Fry stated in the days following the deaths.
Authorities have not ruled out the likelihood that the stabbings were committed by more than one person.
So far, authorities have been able to cobble together a rough timeline and map of the group’s final hours using evidence found at the scene as well as a plethora of information and interviews.
Goncalves and Mogen were spotted at a sports bar on the night of the killings, while Chapin and Kernodle were observed at a fraternity party.
Investigators suspect that by 2 a.m. the night of the stabbings, all four victims had returned home. According to authorities, two surviving roommates went out in Moscow that night and returned to the residence at about 1 a.m.
Police previously stated that Goncalves and Mogen returned to the residence around 1:45 a.m., but they revised their timeline on Friday, stating that digital evidence proved the couple arrived at 1:56 a.m. after visiting a food truck and being taken home by a “private party.”
According to authorities, the next morning, two surviving roommates “summoned friends to the apartment because they felt one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up.”
At 11:58 a.m., someone dialed 911 from the residence, using one of the surviving roommates’ phones.
When the cops came, they discovered two victims on the second and two victims on the third floors. According to investigators, there was no evidence of forced entry or damage.
Investigators believe the two surviving roommates had nothing to do with the fatalities.
The four victims were stabbed many times, according to the coroner, and were most likely asleep when the attacks began. According to the Latah County coroner, some of the students suffered defensive wounds.
Ava Forsyth, a student, stated that her roommate is staying at home because she does not feel safe. Forsyth said she feels “moderately” safe during the day, but “not so much” at night when she uses a free campus walking security service.
Rich, the student who stated that people are “sketched out,” stated that he opted to return for the numerous tests he has this week. Lexi Way, a student, told that increased campus security makes her feel safer and that she “tends to learn better in class.”