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Crime News University of Idaho Murders

Police Say Murdered Idaho Students' First-Floor Roommates Called 911, Aren't Suspects

Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves' two roommates were the ones who called police when they couldn't wake their friends up, and aren't suspects in the deaths of the three young women and Ethan Chapin.

By Megan Carpentier
Four University Of Idaho Students Fatally Stabbed In 'Targeted' Attack

Police still have no suspects in custody for the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students, but they have been released information on which people they have ruled out.

A roommate of victims Madison Mogen, 21 Kaylee Goncalves, 21 and Xana Kernodle, 20, first called other friends to come over and then together they called 911 just before noon on Nov. 14, 2022, according to a press release from the Moscow, Idaho Police Department. The callers — more than one of whom spoke to dispatchers — believed at the time that one of the three women had passed out and was not waking up.

When a police officer arrived, he discovered the bodies of Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Kernodle's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, on the second and third floors of the residence. Police did not say who was where in the home, other than the surviving roommates.

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Police do not believe that any of the people in the six-bedroom residence when the 911 call was made are involved in the crime, including the two other roommates.

Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen

In the same release, they added that neither the man whom Mogen and Gonvales were seen talking to on a food truck surveillance video that night nor the "private party" driver who took them home from the truck is believed to be involved in the quadruple homicide.

In addition, Mogen and Goncalves are both said to have made "multiple phone calls" to a third man — who didn't answer — for about an hour after returning home around 1:45 a.m. Police told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he has also been ruled out as a suspect.

In a subsequent press release, police said that they had investigated an incident of a skinned dog in the county and determined it was unrelated to the homicides.

The two surviving roommates, who both lived on the first floor, had returned home around 1:00 a.m. on the night of the murders and did not hear anything suspicious. Kernodle and Chapin returned to her home around the same time as Mogen and Goncalves, though the pairs had been at separate events that evening.

The coroner has said that all four were stabbed multiple times, and were likely asleep when the assaults began. Some had defensive wounds, but there were no signs of sexual assault and nothing appears to be missing from the residence.

The home where the victims were killed is less than a block south of the University of Idaho campus' south border and immediately east of the Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Police are asking for residents to alert them to any home or business surveillance video taken between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Nov 13, in an area between the Arboretum & Botanical Garden and State Highway 95 to the east, and from the south side of campus to West Palouse River Drive, which runs east-west from the highway to the border with Washington state.

Anyone with information in the case can contact the FBI at fbi.gov/moscowidaho, the Moscow Police tip line at (208) 883-7180 or email the local police at tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

A memorial service for Chapin was held on Monday in his hometown of Mount Vernon, Washington — just north of Seattle — according to the Associated Press. His mother, Stacy Chapin, spoke to reporters to explain that the family would not take question, but thanked their communities and the Moscow Police for their help and support, according to Spokane CBS affiliate KREM.