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U of I student speaks out following peers’ murders

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - It's been more than a week since four University of Idaho students were found murdered in Moscow.

Roommates Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Xana's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were close friends and members of Greek life on campus.

"I still haven't fathomed it, really," said University of Idaho student Daniel Ramirez.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, police responded to a 911 call of an "unresponsive person," and discovered the four victims stabbed to death in their beds.

The community remains on edge as police say the suspect is still at large and they have not located a murder weapon.

"We will continue to put all of our resources towards investigating and bringing this to a resolution," said Captain Roger Lanier of the Moscow Police Department.

Police released new details about the murder investigation during a press conference on Sunday, Nov. 20, saying that the two surviving roommates had slept through the attack, and the 911 call was made from one of the roommates' cell phones. But police did not identify who the caller was.

"So any information out there is speculation about that," Capt. Lanier said.

Circulating in the social media rumor mill — theories that the victims were tied and gagged. Police have stated this is not true. Additionally, police did not elaborate on the multiple phone calls that Kaylee and Maddie made to a man named Jack.

"Listen to the official information," Ramirez said. "I know there’s a lot of rumors and conspiracies going about, but please just stick to what’s being reported from both police and from us at 'The Argonaut' and other publications."

Ramirez is the digital director of "The Argonaut," a student-run newspaper at the University of Idaho.

Like many others, he's still trying to process what happened at his own school.

"Four of my peers were murdered in their sleep," he said. "We’ve mostly just been working on getting most of the information out there that is factual and true. And I just still haven’t processed it."

Meanwhile, communities across Idaho have been holding candlelight vigils to pay tribute to the victims.

"When you’ve walked the same walk that these victims walked that night, when you’ve gone to the same places they went to a million times, when you’ve literally stepped foot in the house this happened in … it’s so surreal," said Univ. of Idaho Alumni Coordinator Jessica Marboe Jenkins.

Police are asking the public if they have any information to call their tip line: (208) 883-7180 or email tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.

With students home for Thanksgiving, University of Idaho President C. Scott Green has encouraged professors to accommodate students' wishes, whether that be returning to campus following the holiday, or finishing the semester remotely.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho
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Emma Benson

Emma is a morning news anchor and multimedia journalist at Local News 8.

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