Timeline: What We Know So Far About the Murder of Four University of Idaho Students

Timeline: What We Know So Far About the Murder of Four University of Idaho Students
Timeline: What We Know So Far About the Murder of Four University of Idaho Students

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Officials in the small town of Moscow, Idaho, have been a little cryptic about what happened to four University of Idaho students who were murdered this past weekend.

Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Gonçalves were found dead in a home near the university campus on Sunday, just hours after posting smiling photos on Instagram.

While no suspects have been arrested, police have stated there is no ongoing danger to local residents, without saying how they know it.

So what exactly happened in the hours before and after the students’ bodies were discovered? Here’s the best timeline we currently have.

Monday, August 22 – term starts

This year’s University of Idaho fall semester kicked off on Aug. 22, drawing all four students back to campus.

Chapin, 20, was from Conway, in northwestern Washington state, while Kernodle was from the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Mrs. Mogen and Mrs. Gonçalves were both from Idaho, near the town of Coeur d’Alene, about 84 miles north of Moscow.

“Love this place. I love these people,” Gonçalves said on Instagram in October, posting a happy photo of herself. A previous post, celebrating Mogen’s 21st birthday in May, showed a timeline of the couple “growing up together” from childhood.

Murdered University of Idaho Students Madison Mogen and Kaylee Gonçalves


Saturday, November 12th – ‘One lucky girl’

At 8:57 am local time, Ms. Gonçalves last posted to Instagram, including a photo of her and all three other students together arm in arm on the porch of a house.

“One lucky girl to be surrounded by these people every day,” she wrote in the caption.

Two other women are also featured in the photo, taken in daylight and therefore at least an hour or two in advance. Their identity is not yet known.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Gonçalves, 21, took this photo together hours before they died

(Instagram/Kaylee Gonçalves)

Sunday, November 13th – Murder

Moscow Mayor Art Bettge said the students were killed between 3:00 and 4:00 on Sunday morning.

Police later said they believe a “weapon as sharp as a knife” was used to kill the four students, and that this was “an isolated and targeted attack” that posed “no imminent threat to the wider community”.

Asked by The Statesman of Idaho, Police Captain Anthony Dahlinger said all four students were considered victims, ruling out the possibility of homicide-suicide. But he declined to say whether he would describe the killings as violent.

“All I can say is that the deaths are classified as homicide at this point, and homicide and murder are synonymous,” Dahlinger said. “We certainly have a crime here, so we’re looking for a suspect.”

Sunday noon – mysterious 911 call

Police were called to a house on King Road near the University of Idaho campus at 11:58 am on Sunday.

Officers were responding to a 911 call reporting “an unconscious individual,” but would not say who made the call, whether that person was at the scene when they arrived, or whether that person is a potential suspect.

2 pm on Sunday – Shelter installed

Not long after the bodies were discovered, the University of Idaho closed its campus.

“VANDAL ALERT,” said the institution’s official Twitter account, addressing students by their school’s nickname (derived from its sports team, the Idaho Vandals).

“Moscow Police Department is investigating a homicide on King Road near campus. The suspect is not known at this time. Stay away from the area and take cover.”

Monday, November 14th – Mystery

On Monday, the Moscow Police Department named the four students, but authorities gave mixed reports about their fate.

Mr. bettge said The New York Times newspaper that he believed the murder was a “crime of passion”, and later admitted in another outlet: “We don’t really know what it was”.

University President Scott Green said Monday’s classes would be canceled “out of respect for these fellow vandals”.

Tuesday, November 15th – Reaction

As the mystery deepened, Moscow residents and students began to post on social media about their dissatisfaction with the explanations of the local authorities.

After Prefect Bettge’s remarks of “crime of passion”, he told the Political that he was simply hinting at this as a potential motive, saying, “It could be one of several things. The police still don’t know. I was not informed.

He added: “They have verified that there is no other threat to the community. I would say it was just a crime focused on this location.”

On the same day, Annie Reneau, who said she was the mother of a senior at the University of Idaho, wrote a lengthy Twitter thread summarizing the community’s fears.

“I’m not sure that people who are not directly connected with the University of Idaho somehow understand the little information that students, parents and community members have obtained regarding the murder of 4 students in an off-campus apartment two days ago. Reneau said.

“Police believe it was an isolated and targeted attack. Okay, but someone who was crazy/angry/drugged/whatever enough to stab four people to death, even if he was a target, is out there somewhere. I’m not usually paranoid, but that doesn’t go down well, does it?”

The article is in Portuguese

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