US: University of Idaho students slayings 'took our innocence,' authorities say; more than 1K tips investigated

University of Idaho victim's father says Xana Kernodle had 'bruises,' put up a fight against killer

  University of Idaho victim's father says Xana Kernodle had 'bruises,' put up a fight against killer University of Idaho murder victim Xana Kernodle's father said the 20-year-old had 'bruises' and was 'torn by the knife' while putting up an apparent fight with her attacker.Xana Kernodle, 20, was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 — along with her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, and two friends, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves — in a home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, near the university. Police have not mentioned any suspects or a motive as of Thursday.

More than a week after four University of Idaho students were fatally stabbed at their home, authorities are making a public plea for help, as they have not identified a suspect or found a murder weapon.

Moscow Police Capt. Roger Lanier told a news conference Wednesday that his department was putting all of its resources into solving the case and that investigators are prepared to work through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

"This is our highest priority. It will remain our highest priority," Lanier said, updating the public on the investigation that has shocked the campus. "We owe that to the families."

Police release map in desperate search for leads in University of Idaho murders

  Police release map in desperate search for leads in University of Idaho murders Police have released an aerial map showing the University of Idaho murder victims' final movements before they were slaughtered Sunday in their home near campus."Detectives working on the University of Idaho homicides are seeking additional tips and leads to further the investigation," reads a post, accompanied by a map, that went up on the City of Moscow Police Department's Facebook page Friday afternoon.

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Lanier was also clear about what residents, especially students, should do in a college town of about 26,000 residents near the Idaho-Washington State border that hasn't had a reported homicide in about 5 years.

Lanier said Moscow, Idaho, has always been a safe community, but that students should probably travel in pairs, and tell someone when they leave and arrive for a destination. And there are plans to increase police presence on campus.

"In some ways, this took our innocence," Lanier said. "I would tell students that you need to stay with a friend. I know that university staff is looking into different options to increase some of the safety on campus.

"Going forward, there's a lot of things that maybe we wished we would've done before that we need to start doing now."

Idaho student murders: Former officers say police 'jumped the gun' with initial 'targeted' attack statement

  Idaho student murders: Former officers say police 'jumped the gun' with initial 'targeted' attack statement Two former detectives with the LAPD and NYPD weigh in on information police have released regarding the murders of four University of Idaho students.The Moscow Police Department (MPD) described the attack as isolated and targeted in a Tuesday press release. Authorities have since revealed that the victims — Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 — were stabbed to death, possibly while asleep, at about 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. on Nov. 13.

A TIMELINE: Four University of Idaho students were slain in their beds while they slept: What we know

The victims were housemates Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington. The students' bodies were found Nov. 13 after police were called to their off-campus rental home.

Investigators are looking for what they believe is "a fixed blade or knife used in the murders," Lanier said.

Idaho State Police Col. Kedrick Wills said investigators were working around the clock. They have collected more than 100 pieces of evidence and 4,000 photos, processed more than 1,000 tips and "multiple 3D scans" of the house where the stabbings occurred. They also interviewed about 150 people.

Boise State University students, along with people who knew the four University of Idaho students who were found killed in Moscow, Idaho, days earlier, pay their respects at a vigil held in front of a statue on the Boise State campus. © Sarah A. Miller, AP Boise State University students, along with people who knew the four University of Idaho students who were found killed in Moscow, Idaho, days earlier, pay their respects at a vigil held in front of a statue on the Boise State campus.

Wills hoped that the statistics will help ease a frustrated and anxious community desperate for answers with "a little bit of a perception of just how complex" the case is.

Idaho murders: police have 'cleared' phone calls victims made on the night of stabbings

  Idaho murders: police have 'cleared' phone calls victims made on the night of stabbings Police said Sunday that they have cleared multiple phone calls two victims of a Nov. 13 quadruple homicide near the University of Idaho campus made the night of the murders.Victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, made "multiple" phone calls to a male subject just before they were stabbed to death while sleeping, but police have "cleared" the subject on the receiving end of those calls, Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said during a Sunday press conference.

"We understand you want answers. We want answers, too," Wills said. "Please remain patient as this investigation unfolds."

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said he believes there is more information to be gathered that will create a window into this case.

"We all want to understand why this happened and what drove someone to do this," Fry said. "The families of those involved and our entire community deserve to know."

During the news conference, Lanier again laid out the timeline of the stabbings and said authorities have ruled out others they believe were not involved in the attack.

Those people include the two surviving roommates in the house, and a man who was seen in a grub truck video circulating on the internet.

A TARGETED ATTACK: 4 University of Idaho students were likely killed with an 'edged weapon,' police say

Authorities have also ruled out "any individuals that spoke to the dispatcher on the 911 call" as suspects and a man "that Caylee and Madison had called several times" – the night they were stabbed, Lanier added.

Lanier said detectives have looked into information that Gonclaves "may have had a stalker and have been unable to corroborate the statement," although they continue investigating. Lanier also added that reports of the victims "being tied or gagged are not accurate."

Wills confirmed that Idaho Gov. Brad Little is making available up to $1 million in expenses for the investigation.

Also at the news conference, University of Idaho President Scott Green said support from the community and alumni has been overwhelming, and that there will be a Nov. 30 candlelight vigil to honor the victims.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: University of Idaho students slayings 'took our innocence,' authorities say; more than 1K tips investigated

Half-empty Idaho campus full of fear, grief after killings .
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — In a normal year, University of Idaho students would be bustling between classes and the library, readying for the pre-finals cramming period known as “dead week.” On Wednesday, however, a little under half the students appeared to be gone, choosing to stay home and take classes online rather than return to the town where the killings of four classmates remain unsolved, said Blaine Eckles, the university's dean of students.On Wednesday, however, a little under half the students appeared to be gone, choosing to stay home and take classes online rather than return to the town where the killings of four classmates remain unsolved, said Blaine Eckles, the university's dean of students.

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