Idaho Grieves Murders of Four University of Idaho Students

Moscow+Police+hover+around+the+home+where+the+victims+were+slain.+

Photo by: CNN

Moscow Police hover around the home where the victims were slain.

By: Annabel Lawrence, Staff Reporter/Sports/Investigative

Four students at the University of Idaho were found dead in their apartment over two weeks ago on the morning of Nov. 13, considered to be victims of an apparent homicide. Police were made aware of an unconscious person just before noon, and discovered the victims deceased upon arrival. 

The Moscow Police department has called the deaths “homicides”, yet no further information is available. No suspects have been taken into custody, and the department said that it “does not believe there is an ongoing community risk,” in a statement released late Sunday (Nov. 13) night. This is due to the fact that the slaying has been classified as a “crime of passion”, meaning that police believe that this was a targeted attack unlikely to be repeated. 

The slaying has been classified as a “crime of passion”, meaning that police believe that this was a targeted attack unlikely to be repeated. ”

Police explained that no weapons have been located thus far, but “investigators believe that an edged weapon such as a knife was used”. Autopsies were completed at the end of the week following the deaths, but details have not been released to the public. Police have maintained relative secrecy around the knowledge that they have, but are encouraging the public to engage with the tip line at 208-883-7180.

On Monday (Nov. 14), Moscow Police identified the victims as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho. 

Photo by: KTVB
Life at the University of Idaho has been altered forever following the death of four students on Sunday, Nov. 13.

All classes at the University of Idaho were canceled on the 14th in order to memorialize the slain students. Scott Green, the President of the University of Idaho, released a statement Monday that provided information surrounding resources to aid the mental health of students grappling with this new reality. “An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind. As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up.” said Green. Many students packed up early before Thanksgiving break amidst the eerie feeling that has gripped Moscow since the attack. U of I has also given students the option to either return to classes in-person or complete the semester online to account for an increased concern for safety among the student body. In addition, university faculty has been asked to empathize with students struggling during these times. 

“An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind. As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up.””

— Scott Green, President of the University of Idaho

More information about the deaths continues to surface. On Tuesday (Nov.15), Moscow Police explained that all four students are considered victims in the case, and the families have asked that people “refrain from spreading harmful rumors” surrounding the tragedy. Although much is still unknown, it is important to show respect to the families and friends who are struggling right now. There will be a candlelight vigil held for the victims on Nov. 28 so that the community is able to mourn together.

 

Below are brief bios about the victims, taken from the University of Idaho instagram account. 

 

Ethan, a freshman from Mount Vernon, Washington, was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity majoring in recreation, sports and tourism management in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. 

 

Xana was a junior from Post Falls majoring in marketing in the College of Business and Economics. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. 

 

Madison was a senior majoring in marketing in the College of Business and Economics. She was a member of the Phi Beta Phi sorority and was from Coeur d’Alene. 

 

Kaylee, from Rathdrum, was a senior majoring in general studies in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. She was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. 

Photo by: Instagram/Kaylee GonCalves
An instagram post from Kaylee GonCalves just one day before the attack shows Madison Mogen (top left), Kaylee GonCalves (bottom left), next to Ethan Chapin (left), and Xana Kernodle (right) posing for a picture in their home.

 

All of the reporters here at the Timberline Paw Print want to express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims. It is rare that such a tragic event of this magnitude occurs in our great state, nonetheless at a school that is inextricably connected to our own. Thousands of students, here at Timberline, have continued their education at U of I, and the consequences of this event have reverberated within our community. The situation is unimaginable, and we hope that justice will be served in order to provide closure to these families. Timberline High School stands with all of those who have been affected by this tragedy, and we too will continue to aspire for truth amidst this darkness. 

 

This story will update as more information is provided.