As Moscow Idaho, police are trying to keep a lid on information about last month’s quadruple murder, internet sleuths are poring over video to offer their assistance, whether the police want it or not.
University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington, were killed on Nov. 13. No suspects have been named.
One bit of video made public shows figures in the background, which means there may be witnesses. The video was timestamped at 3:12 a.m. Police have estimated the murder took place between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
True crime vlogger Olivia Vitale told Fox News that someone in that group may have seen or heard something.
“During the timeframe of the murders, there were people in the general vicinity. Between the people with law enforcement and the people in the background of the body cam footage, that is about half a dozen people. The importance is they may have witnessed something unbeknownst to them,” she said.
Pat Diaz, who is a former Miami-Dade homicide detective and now is a private investigator, said the video should be investigated.
“If they haven’t yet, they need to locate them ASAP. That is a great lead. Someone knows something.”
“One month after the murders took place investigators continue to piece together what happened in the hours leading up to the crime in order to determine who is responsible. This while asking the public to stay focused on the official facts released by the Moscow Police Department. Over the past four weeks, rumors and speculation has led members of the public to provide tips based on rumors rather than official information provided about the case,” the site said.
“Rumors and speculation have also affected the families of the victims, friends, and fellow students. In some cases, this has led to harassing and threatening behavior toward potentially involved parties,” the site said.
The site also offered the police response to the incident during which the Nov. 13 video was taken.
“There has been extensive media interest regarding an incident at Taylor Avenue and Band Field on November 13, 2022, at 3:01 a.m. This incident was an alcohol offense which was addressed by the on-scene officer. This call is not related to the murder investigations,” the site said.
However, police appeared to make progress with a different line of inquiry, according to Fox News.
Last week, police put out an alert asking for information from anyone who saw a white Hyundai Elantra, model years 2011-2013, early on Nov. 13.
On Tuesday, they took possession of eight hours of surveillance video from a Moscow gas station where a clerk saw a white car passing by at about 3:45 a.m.
Fox quoted what it said was an overnight assistant manager it did not name as saying that she had been going through the video and spotted the car.
I haven’t seen enough people talking about the quadruple murder of four University of Idaho students. The 4 were stabbed to death between 3/4am on November 13th while in their beds. The unknown assailant remains at large. #idahohomicide #IdahoStudents #IdahoUniversity pic.twitter.com/xUYUyBn5Fh
— LegallyDirtyBlonde (@LDBlondePod) November 22, 2022
“I had a weird feeling to go get on the cameras,” she said.
Police representative Robbie Johnson said she could not confirm if the white car was the one police were seeking.
“If you saw anything that night that looks strange…anything you have to report, even if you don’t think it’s anything, we’re still encouraging people to send that in. When we get that information, even it’s small, sometimes it can piece together the timeline, put those puzzle pieces together, and we get a greater, bigger picture of what was going on,” she said.
On Sunday, police reticence was criticized by Steve Goncalves, the father of victim Kaylee Goncalves.
“I got outraged by them not just coming out and saying this was a woman or a man because they should know by the amount of strength it took to deliver the injuries,” he said, according to Fox News.
“They’re just being cowards. There are girls walking around the street right now that deserve to know. They should be looking out for a sadistic male,” he said.
Steven Goncalves said coroner Cathy Mabbutt told him the wounds were not simple stab wounds.
“She says, sir, I don’t think stabs is the right word, it was like tears, like this was a strong weapon, not like a stab. She said these were big open gouges. She said it was quick. These weren’t something where you were going to be able to call 911. They were not going to slowly bleed out,” he said.
He said his daughter’s liver and lungs were slashed open.
“I actually found a glove,” he said. “I pointed it out to the officer who was there securing the scene and they came and collected it. The officer that was there, obviously, they didn’t know about it because he came over and photographed it. They came out and got it.”
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