Investigators involved in the Nov. 13 quadruple homicide case in Moscow have ruled out the 911 caller as the murderer, but have not divulged the identity of the caller.
Officials from the Moscow Police Department, the University of Idaho and Idaho State Police held a news conference Sunday about the investigation into the stabbing deaths of UI students Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves at a King Road residence.
On Saturday, the Moscow Police Department said in a statement that the 911 call made just before noon Nov. 13 came from a surviving roommate’s cellphone inside the house. There were two surviving roommates, and police do not believe they were involved in the crime.
Police have not identified the caller, but Chief James Fry said Sunday that they were not the killer.
On Sunday evening following the news conference, the Moscow police issued an updated news release that said the two surviving roommates "summoned friends to the residence because they believed one of the second-floor victims had passed out and was not waking up. At 11:58 a.m., a 911 call requested aid for an unconscious person. ... Multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher before a Moscow Police officer arrived at the location. Officers entered the residence and found the four victims on the second and third floors."
The updated news release also said that none of the people who were at the house when the 911 call was placed is involved in the murder.
Fry indicated that a male who received several phone calls from Mogen and Goncalves in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 isn’t a suspect.
"Everything that we've taken from those calls, we've followed up on, we've cleared, and we believe there's no connection there," he said.
In a previous news release, the police stated the male who drove Mogen and Goncalves to the King Road residence that morning is not a suspect. The male who was seen in surveillance footage of the Grub Truck on Main Street standing near Goncalves and Mogen a few hours before they were killed was also ruled out as a suspect.
Another new detail Fry shared is that other friends of the victims were at the King Road residence around the time the 911 call was made, but could not say when or how many.
It was reiterated during Sunday’s news conference that no suspects have been arrested and no murder weapon has been found. An autopsy determined that all four students were stabbed to death.
When asked how someone could stab four people without waking up the other roommates, Fry said he could not disclose that information.
“I don’t even know that information at this point and time, and that’s why we’re continuing to investigate,” he said.
The police have received 646 tips from the public and completed more than 90 interviews, Fry said.
Fry said that as police search for a suspect, they are looking “everywhere that evidence would lead us.” He could not say whether the killer is still in Moscow or elsewhere.
Detectives are seeking all outside surveillance video — whether or not there appears to be motion or content in the video — from 3-6 a.m. Nov. 13 from businesses and residences within a certain geographical area that includes West Taylor Avenue, West Palouse River Drive, U.S. Highway 95 south to the 2700 block of U.S. Highway 95, and the UI Arboretum.
Idaho State Police and the FBI are also investigating the case.
Fry said police will continue to “vigorously pursue the investigation.”
“It is a complex and terrible crime and it will take some time to resolve,” he said.
UI President Scott Green said some students will choose to complete the fall semester remotely until the suspect is in custody, while others want to come back to campus. The university asked instructors to prepare for both sets of students. The school’s official policy will be announced early this week, he said.
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