Investigators in Moscow are exploring the possibility that the quadruple murders of four University of Idaho students may be connected to a 2021 unsolved stabbing murder 400 miles away in Oregon.
Back on 13 August 2021, a couple was attacked in their home in Salem, Oregon, by a masked assailant who broke in armed with a knife, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.
Travis Juetten, 26, and Jamilyn Juetten, 24, were woken at around 3am in the morning when the mystery attacker entered their bedroom and stabbed them both multiple times.
Mr Juetten tried to fight off the attacker but was stabbed to death. Ms Juetten was stabbed 19 times in the attack but miraculously survived.
Despite the victims’ families putting up a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killer, more than one year on, the case remains unsolved.
Similarities are now being drawn between the stabbings and the slayings of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, in Moscow, Idaho.
Both unsolved cases involve a suspect armed with a knife breaking into a home at around 3am and attacking victims while they slept in their beds.
Also in both cases, other people were home at the time of the killings and were unharmed.
At the time of the Oregon stabbings, a friend was sleeping in another room as they were going to cat-sit for the couple as they had a trip to Hawaii planned for the next day.
The friend was woken by the commotion and is believed to have scared off the attacker, before calling 911, reported KOIN6.
Similarly, two other roommates were in the home at the time of the murders in Idaho. They were unharmed and are believed to have slept through the attack.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Moscow police confirmed that they were aware of the Oregon incident and were “looking into any possible connection” between the crimes.
“We’re looking at every avenue and we have other agencies reaching out to us with other cases and stuff that we are going to follow up on,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry.
He added that he had received a tip linking the two cases.
“I actually had a tip come in on that case and I forwarded it,” he said.
The possible connection comes as – 11 days on from the quadruple murder – no suspects have been named and no arrests made.
Officials gave few new details about the case in Wednesday’s press conference, refusing to say why they believe the murders were targeted – instead simply telling the terrified community to “trust us”.
Police reiterated that the two surviving housemates, the man who was caught on camera with Mogen and Goncalves at a food truck in the downtown area before they headed home on the night of the slayings, the person who gave Mogen and Goncalves a ride home from the food truck and Goncalves’ former long-term boyfriend have all been ruled out as suspects.
They also revealed that they had been unable to confirm reports that Goncalves had a stalker – but were also unable to rule it out.
The four victims were stabbed to death in the off-campus home that the three women shared with two roommates in the early hours of the morning of 13 November.
Goncalves and Mogen had spent Saturday night at The Corner Club bar in downtown Moscow, before stopping by a food truck and then getting a ride home from an unnamed “private party”. Kernodle and Chapin were at a sorority party at Sigma Chi house together.
All four victims are believed to have returned to the student home at around 1.45am.
Multiple calls were then made from the phones of Goncalves and Mogen to the phone of Goncalves’ former longtime boyfriend between 2.26am and 2.52am. None of the calls were answered.
The time of death of the victims is believed to be around 3am or 4am, officials said last week.
Two victims were killed on the second floor and two on the third floor of the home. The two surviving roommates were sleeping on the first floor and were unharmed.
The horrific crime scene went unnoticed for several more hours, with police receiving a 911 call at 11.58am on Sunday, reporting an “unconscious individual” at the home.
Police arrived to find the four victims dead.
The coroner has revealed that all four victims were stabbed multiple times with a large knife while in their beds. There was no signs of sexual assault on any of the victims and the murder weapon – a fixed-blade knife – has not been recovered.
Investigators are asking anyone who observed notable behavior, has video surveillance, or can provide relevant information about the murders, to call the Tip Line at 208-883-7180 or email email@example.com