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University of Idaho leaders mark 1-year anniversary of students’ murder

MOSCOW, Idaho (KIFI) - Monday marked the one-year anniversary when four University of Idaho students were brutally attacked in their home. 

Students at the university are working to move on, but this day brings back many emotions.

Local News 8 talked to the leadership of the university and how this tragedy brought the Vandal family closer together.

“You hear about it on the news, you hear about crimes that happen, in other places and while we prepare for things, none can prepare for a crime like this, it hits to the core of what nightmares are made of,“ said Blaine Eckles, Dean of Students.

Suspect Bryan Kohberger is charged with the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Zana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.  but, it took more than a month for him to be arrested. It was a time that was unsettling for those on and off campus.

“It was confusing it was scary, my own family changed up our own safety practices until the suspect was apprehended, we didn’t know who it was, where they were, locals or pass-throughs," Eckles said.

To this day, students walking to class can still see the house where these murders were committed.

“The home itself is visible from 8 vantage points from campus, so it’s hard to not see it, it will be a great day when we can take down that visual reminder from the tragedy, I don’t think there is anybody, around from a year ago that doesn’t have those moments that you remember and reflect, but that’s partly what makes us human," said Jodi Walker, U of I Executive Director of Communications.

While the victims will never be forgotten, there is beauty within the midst of tragedy.

“The highpoint really has been watching the vandal community come together, the vandal community is strong," Walker said.

And lastly, the university would like to say thank you.  

“I would just say thank you to everyone that has reached out with expressions of support, care and love and quite frankly, we have heard from folks from across the state, across the country and across the world, and those mean a great deal to us," Eckles said.

Kohberger faces several charges, including four counts of first-degree murder.

A student-led vigil was held on campus Monday night to remember the victims.  

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