Moscow Police Debunk Internet Rumors Surrounding Quadruple Murder Investigation in Latest Update | Idaho

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UPDATE (11/28/22):

MOSCOW – On Monday, the Moscow Police Department issued a press release with the latest details into the quadruple murder of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.

According to the Moscow Police Department, a death on Baker Street from February 2022 is not related to the ongoing quadruple murder investigation. The Latah County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death in that case to be an overdose. Questions about the two cases possibly being connected circulated as online rumors, but police say they are unrelated. 

Police also debunked another internet rumor surrounding a red Mustang that was seen being searched on S. Deakin Street. Online rumors speculated that the vehicle was being processed as part of the quadruple murder investigation, however police say that information is not accurate. The red Mustang is not connected to the murders. 

As of Monday afternoon, no suspect(s) have been identified or arrested. 

Police continue to urge anyone with information that can help detectives to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us. Digital media can be submitted at fbi.gov/moscowidaho.

Update (11/27/22):

MOSCOW – As a candlelight vigil is being planned for this Wednesday to honor the memory of Ethan, Xana, Madison, and Kaylee, police continue to investigate the murder deaths of the four University of Idaho students.

On Sunday evening, police said there is still no suspect in the case.

To date, community members have uploaded over 488 digital media submissions to a website established by the FBI where community members were encouraged to send their photos or video that might be relevant to the investigation.

Personnel currently assigned to the case include:

Moscow Police Department

  • 4 Detectives
  • 24 Patrol Officers
  • 5 Support Staff 

Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • 22 investigators in Moscow
  • 20 assigned agents located throughout the United States
  • 2 Behavior Analysis Unit investigators 

Idaho State Police

  • 20 investigators in Moscow
  • Public Information Officer
  • ISP Forensics Services and mobile crime scene team
  • 15 uniformed troopers to assist with community patrols

Update (11/26/22):

MOSCOW – In response to numerous media inquiries about a 1999 double stabbing in Pullman, and the 2021 double stabbing with one death in Salem, Oregon, police are saying there is likely no connection between the cases. Moscow Police say that while these cases share similarities with the killing of four University of Idaho students, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the cases are related. For more on this story, click below.

Police on Friday said Community members have uploaded over 260 digital media submissions to the FBI tip link.  To date, 113 pieces of physical evidence have been collected and sent to the Idaho State Police crime lab for processing and analysis.

The University of Idaho is hosting a candlelight vigil for Wednesday, November 30th, to honor the memory of Ethan, Xana, Madison, and Kaylee

New Details (11/23/22):

In a press conference held Wednesday afternoon, the Moscow Police Department and Idaho State Police provided the latest update on the investigation into four University of Idaho students who were murdered on November 13.

While hardly any new details were revealed, a look into the sheer size of the case and what detectives are working through was given. In the ten days following the murders, over 1,000 tips have been processed and 150+ interviews have been conducted. 

According to Idaho State Police Col. Kedrick Wills, 103 pieces of evidence have been gathered from the scene, and more than 4,000 photographs have been taken. 

“We understand you want answers,” said Col. Wills. “We want answers too. But these take time.” He continued, “There is an awful lot of efforts going on behind the scenes. What can’t be seen, isn’t always known of what we do in law enforcement.”

In the recent days, the crime scene has been seen being expanded out front of the residence into the parking lot, which raised questions from reporters regarding the timing.

“It’s not uncommon,” said MPD Cpt. Roger Lanier. “Logically as this progresses, we have expanded it to several areas of the city and in fact canvassed entire neighborhoods.”

Authorities also stated they will not be releasing the 911 call while the investigation is ongoing. 

With no suspects yet named or arrested, the Moscow Police Department says they will continue putting all of their resources into the investigation, with officers ready to work through the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“I want to assure you that the loss of Xana, Kaylee, Madison and Ethan remains the highest priority for the Moscow Police Department,” said MPD Cpt. Lanier. “We will continue putting all of our resources into investigating and solving these murders.”

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said, “We are going to have many, many detectives and agents working all the way through this incident. Our people are dedicated. Our people care about this community. We are going to keep pushing on this until we come to a conclusion.”

ISP Col. Kedrick Wills also announced that Idaho Governor Brad Little has made $1,000,000 available for investigators to utilize for the investigation. 

Anyone with information that can help detectives is urged to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us. Digital media can be submitted at fbi.gov/moscowidaho.

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**UPDATE (11/22/22)**

  • Investigators have extensively looked into information they received about Kaylee Goncalves possibly having a stalker. After pursuing hundreds of pieces of information related to this topic, investigators say they have not been able to verify or identify a stalker.
  • The Moscow Police Department says there has been much conversation about the terminology used to describe the murder weapon. The MPD clarified that the type of knife thought to be used in the murders is a fix-blade knife. No murder weapon has been found.  

Anyone with information that can help detectives is urged to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us. Digital media can be submitted at fbi.gov/moscowidaho.

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**UPDATE (11/21/22)**

  • Officers located a dog at the residence. The dog, which was unharmed, was turned over to Animal Services and then released to a responsible party.
  • Detectives are aware of a Latah County Sheriff’s Office incident regarding the report of a dog that was skinned in the weeks leading up to the murders. It has been determined that incident was unrelated to the murders. According to a report from Fox News shared Monday morning, a mini-Australian shepherd was found “skinned head to tail on October 21 after his owners Jim and Pam Colbert let him out in the backyard in Moscow, ID.”

The next press conference to update the public on the investigation is scheduled for Wednesday, November 23 at 1:00 p.m.

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Story

On the evening of Saturday, November 12, it has been determined that Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were at a local bar called ‘The Corner Club’ in downtown Moscow, between the hours of 10:00p.m. – 1:30 a.m. on November 13. Then at approximately 1:40 a.m., Kaylee and Madison were seen on video via a live Twitch stream at a local food vendor called the “Grub Truck” at 318 S. Main Street. The two then received a ride from that location via a private party to their residence at 1122 King Road at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Investigators have also determined that Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi house on the University of Idaho Campus that night. It is believed that Ethan and Xana also returned to the residence on King Road at approximately 1:45 a.m.

The map provided below details the night of November 12 and into the early morning hours of November 13 when the murders occurred. The map shows the locations and approximate times when Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were in downtown Moscow, while Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi house.






Two other roommates who live in the six-bedroom residence on King Road were also out in the community that night, but returned home at around 1:00 a.m.

It is believed that the murders happened sometime between 3:00 – 6:00 a.m.

At 11:58 a.m. on Sunday, November 14, officers with the Moscow Police Department responded to the residence for the report of an unconscious individual. Upon arrival, officers discovered Kaylee, Madison, Xana and Ethan deceased inside the residence.

In the days following the murders it was revealed that the initial 911 call was made from inside the residence on one of the surviving roommates cell phone, although the name of the person who made the call has not yet been released. According to police, the surviving roommates summoned friends to the residence because they believed one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and was not waking up.

After arriving at the residence, a Moscow Police officer discovered the four deceased victims on the second and third floor.

After autopsies were conducted on November 17, the Latah County Coroner confirmed the identity of the four murdered individuals and their cause and manner of death as homicide by stabbing. The coroner stated that the four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault.

At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe any individual that was at the residence when 911 was initially called, including the surving roommates, are involved in the crime.

In addition, detectives do not believe the male subject seen in the Grub Truck live stream video or the private party driver that took Kaylee and Madison home that night are involved.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry also revealed that detectives are aware that Madison and Kaylee both made phone calls to an unnamed individual after returning home in the early morning hours of November 13, but it is not believed there is any connection between those phone calls and the murders.

“We believe there’s no connection there,” said Fry.

MPD Captain Roger Lanier also said that any rumors about the victims being bound and gagged are false.

Idaho State Police Director Kendrick Wills said the best thing the community can do to help officials is to stop the spread of speculation.

“We know you want answers,” Wills said. “We want answers too.”

Wills asked that the community be patient with the investigation and trust that the police will release any new information when they are able.

“We owe it to these young kids,” Wills said.

As part of the investigation, detectives seized the content of three dumpsters on King Road in order to locate possible evidence, but nothing of significance was found. Detectives have also contacted local businesses to determine if a fixed-blade knife had recently been purchased at the locations. A murder weapon has not yet been located.

The Moscow Police Department, Latah County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigations all continue to investigate this incident.

To date, more than 600 tips have been received from the public, and 90+ interviews have been conducted.

Currently, no suspects are in custody.

Anyone who observed suspicious behavior, has video surveillance, or can provide relevant information about these murders, is asked to call the Tip Line at 208-883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

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**UPDATE (11/20/22)**

Moscow Police Chief James Fry revealed that the male both Madison Mogen and Kaylee GonCalves had made phone calls to was not believed to be a suspect. 

“We believe there’s no connection there,” Fry said. 

Others who have been cleared as suspects by MPD include the two surviving roommates, the male seen in the Grub Truck footage and the private party driver who took Mogen and GonCalves back to the residence on King Road. 

Fry also said other people arrived at the residence before the 911 call and confirmed neither of the surviving roommates had made the call, though a surviving roommate’s phone had been used. No caller identity was released.

MPD Captain Roger Lanier said any rumors about the victims being bound and gagged are false. 

Idaho State Police Director Kendrick Wills said the best thing the community can do to help officials is to stop the spread of speculation.

“We know you want answers,” Wills said. “We want answers too.”

Wills asked that the community be patient with the investigation and trust that the police will release any new information when they are able. 

“We owe it to these young kids,” Wills said. 

University of Idaho President Scott Green said that security has become the university’s top priority and said professors are being asked to remain flexible as the fall semester wraps up. Some students want to return to class in person and some don’t want to return to campus until a suspect is in custody, Green said, so the university will be making adjustments in delivery according to each student’s safety.

“We are making security our top priority and are preparing for the fact that some students may not feel comfortable returning to campus,” Green said.

Green said there has been an increased security presence on campus. The campus Safe Walk remains available to anyone. All residence halls on campus are locked at every hour of the day, with RA’s present to provide safety rounds, and are only available to students. Housing has staffing on-call to provide help in emergencies.

See below for previous coverage of this case:

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*UPDATE (11/18/22)*

The Moscow Police Department released new details on Friday surrounding the investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students that occurred on Sunday, November 13.

All of the known information is laid out in the below press release from the Moscow Police Department. 

On the evening of Saturday, November 12, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were at a local bar called ‘The Corner Club’ in downtown Moscow, between the hours of 10:00p.m. – 1:30 a.m. on November 13. Then at approximately 1:40 a.m., Kaylee and Madison were seen on video via a live Twitch stream at a local food vendor called the “Grub Truck” at 318 S. Main Street. The two then received a ride from a private party from downtown to their residence at 1122 King Road at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Investigators have also determined that Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were seen at the Sigma Chi house on the University of Idaho Campus. At approximately 1:45 a.m., Ethan and Xana are believed to have returned to the residence at 1122 King Road. 

The map provided below details the night of November 12 and into the early morning hours of November 13 when the murders occurred. The map shows the locations and approximate times when Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were in downtown Moscow, while Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi house.







U of I Murders (date/time map)

Two other roommates were also at the residence that night, but were not injured, according to police. 

Around noon on November 13, officers responded to the residence after a 911 call reported an unconscious individual. Upon arrival, officers discovered Kaylee, Madison, Xana, and Ethan deceased inside the residence.

After autopsies were conducted on November 17, the Latah County Coroner confirmed the identity of the four murdered individuals and their cause and manner of death as homicide by stabbing. The coroner stated that the four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault.

At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe the two surviving roommates or a male in the Grub Truck surveillance video are involved in this crime.

The Moscow Police Department says that online rumors of the victims being tied and gagged are not accurate.

The identity of the 911 caller has still not been released.

As part of the investigation, detectives have seized the contents of three dumpsters on King Road to locate possible evidence. Additionally, detectives have contacted local businesses to determine if a fixed-blade knife had been recently purchased. A murder weapon has not yet been located. 

At the time of this release, detectives have received nearly 500 tips which are being processed, investigated, and cleared. Thirty-eight interviews have been conducted with individuals who may have information about the murders.

Currently, there are no suspects in custody.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call 208-883-7180 or tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

For this investigation, the Moscow Police Department is utilizing assistance from the Idaho State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Latah County Sheriff’s Office.

Moscow Police Department:

  • 4 Detectives
  • 24 Patrol Officers
  • 5 Support Staff

Federal Bureau of In Investigators:

  • 22 investigators in Moscow
  • 20 assigned agents located out of Treasure Valley, ID, Salt Lake City, Utah, and West Virginia
  • Behavior Analysis Unit

Idaho State Police:

  • 20 investigators
  • 15 troopers
  • Public Information Officer
  • ISP Forensics Services and mobile crime scene team
  • 15 uniformed troopers to assist with community patrols

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*UPDATE (11/16/22)*

MOSCOW – On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 16, the Moscow Police Department held a press conference to provide an update on the latest developments in a quadruple homicide investigation involving four University of Idaho students who were found dead inside a residence near campus.

The story, which first broke on the afternoon of Sunday, November 13, has caught the attention of citizens and news outlets nationwide.

Prior to Wednesday’s press conference, the information and messaging, or lack-there-of, being released about the investigation by the Moscow Police Department caused some uncertainty and frustration among the local community, who were demanding answers. Some of those questions were answered Wednesday, but many still remain.

According to Moscow Police Chief James Fry, as of Wednesday afternoon, no suspect has been identified in the homicides and the suspect remains at large.

Walking back previous comments made by the Moscow Police Department, Chief Fry said he could not say that there is no threat to the community.

“We can not say that there is no threat to the community, and as we have stated, please stay vigilant,” said Fry.

Chief Fry went on to outline the known details of the night, stating that all four victims arrived back at the residence sometime after 1:45 a.m. The murders then occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 13. The initial 911 call made to Moscow Police was not made until around noon that day.

“We don’t know why that call came in at noon and not the middle of the night,” said Fry. 

According to Fry, all four victims were stabbed with a knife. That information was also confirmed by Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt. 

A murder weapon has not yet been located. There were also no signs of forced entry into the residence, according to Fry. 

Chief Fry also stated that two additional roommates were home at the time of the attack, but those individuals were not injured. Those individuals were at the residence when first responders first arrived for the initial unconscious person call. Fry also declined to confirm who made the initial 911 call.

Based on details found at the scene, police believe this was an isolated, targeted attack on the victims.

On Sunday, November 13, officers with the Moscow Police Department responded to a residence on King Road in Moscow, ID for the report of an unconscious individual. Upon arrival, officers discovered four deceased victims.

Initially, the University of Idaho issued a Vandal Alert advising people to shelter in place, however the Moscow Police Department later said they had determined there was not an ongoing threat for community members, and that evidence indicates it was a targeted attack.

The four victims were later identified as 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, of Conway, WA; 21-year-old Madison Mogen, of Coeur d’Alene, ID; 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, of Post Falls, ID ; and 21-year-old Kaylee GonCalves, of Rathdrum, ID. All four victims were students at the University of Idaho who were living off campus.

Two days after the deceased victims were found, the Moscow Police Department provided an update, saying although no weapons had been found, investigators believe an “edged weapon” such as a knife, was used.

Investigators with the Moscow Police Department, Latah County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police and FBI continue to follow up on all leads. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tip Line at (208)883-7190.

A candlelight vigil on campus initially scheduled for Wednesday night has been rescheduled for November 30.

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**UPDATE (11/15/22)**

On Tuesday morning, Moscow Police said that although no weapons have been located, based on preliminary information, investigators believe that an “edged weapon” such as a knife was used. Autopsies are scheduled to be completed later this week and will hopefully provide more definitive information on the exact cause of the deaths.

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***Victims Identified in Moscow Homicide(11/14/22)***

On Sunday, November 13, officers with the Moscow Police Department responded to a call on King Road for an unconscious individual. Upon arrival, officers discovered four individuals who were deceased. 

The four victims have been identified as University of Idaho students.

According to an updated news release from the Moscow Police, the four individuals have been identified as 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, of Conway, WA; 21-year-old Madison Mogen, of Coeur d’Alene, ID; 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, of Post Falls, ID; and 21-year-old Kaylee GonCalves, of Rathdrum, ID. All four victims were students at the University of Idaho. 

According to police, details continue to be limited in this investigation. Currently, there is no suspect in custody.

Investigators are asking anyone with information related to this incident to contact the Moscow Police at 208-882-2677.

The Moscow Police does not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation.

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UPDATE (11/13/22) 2:40p.m. 

The Moscow Police Department is continuing the investigation and the suspect is still unknown. According to a second Vandal Alert, MPD does not believe there to be an active threat in place and the shelter in place order given by the university has been lifted. U of I advises those in the area to remain vigilant. 

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Original Story (11/13/22)

MOSCOW – On Sunday, November 13 at around 1:05 p.m., the University of Idaho sent out a Vandal Alert stating that the Moscow Police Department is investigating a homicide on King Road near campus.

MPD confirmed that there is not a suspect at this time. The Vandal Alert states people should avoid the area and those who can’t should shelter in place.







King Rd., Moscow, ID

A homicide was reported on King Rd. in Moscow, indicated by the red pin near the University of Idaho campus, early afternoon on Sunday, Nov. 13. (Image courtesy of Google Maps)


According to Pullman Radio, police initially responded to a report of an unconscious person at a unit on King Road. The call quickly turned into a homicide investigation at the apartment just south of campus.

Moscow Police Captain Tyson Berrett told Pullman Radio the suspect is not known at this time but clarifies that the case doesn’t represent a threat to the general public. Idaho State Police has been called in to assist with the investigation.

Below are some safety tips from the U of I.

If there is an active assailant in your vicinity, you generally have three options:

• Run (evacuate): You should only run if you can safely escape.

• Hide: If you can’t run, find a safe place to hide, preferably in a locked space or behind a barricade.

• Fight: If you can’t run or hide, your only option may be to fight. Think about what you can use to neutralize the assailant.

Additional information to be aware of:

• In case of emergency, call 911. Take care of your own safety prior to calling 911.

• If you see something odd or suspicious, report it immediately to the Office of Public Safety and Security or Moscow Police.

• When on campus, reach the Moscow Police Department by calling 208-882-2677. To make a report to the Office of Public Safety and Security, call 208-885-7233.

• Always trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, do what you can to get out of that situation safely and call MPD or OPSS. You can also request a security officer escort to accompany you on campus. Call 208-885-HELP and request a “Safe Walk” when on campus.

Big Country News will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.

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