Authorities in Moscow, where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last week, have warned the public against rumours online.
During a press conference on Sunday, Moscow Police revealed few details about the ongoing investigation into the brutal murders of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20. No arrests have been made a week after the slayings and police have yet to identify any suspects.
Authorities addressed conspiracies surrounding the murders that have been spreading online. Police Captain Roger Lanier denied reports that the victims had been found tied and gagged and said that any information circulating about the identity of the 911 caller was mere speculation.
Mr Lanier added that the two surviving roommates, a male seen on Twitch video that also featured Goncalves and Mogen at a food truck hours before the murders, and an individual who drove the two of them home that night are not considered suspects.
“We know that people want answers, we want answers, too,” Idaho State Police Colonel Kedrick Wills also said. “Please be patient as we work through this investigation. We owe this to these young kids. To these young adults. We owe it to them. And we’re absolutely dedicated to mak[ing] sure that that happens.”
Last week, parents of the victims decried the rampant speculation from internet sleuths, saying it is harmful to the actual probe into the horrific stabbings in the early morning hours of 13 November. Kernodle’s father, Jeffrey Kernodle, told The Independent that a large part of the information spreading like wildfire online was simply not true.
“It’s really mind-boggling. It’s just completely unthinkable and it’s the worst nightmare,” Mr Kernodle said on Thursday.
Chapin’s parents, Stacy and Jim Chapin, told NBC affiliate KING5 last week that drugs or a love triangle were not involved in the murders.
“The things that are being said are 100 per cent not true,” Ms Chapin told the outlet. “There [are] not drugs involved, there is not some weird love triangle. He had stayed the night at his girlfriend’s house, who was one of five girls who lived in the home.”
Autopsy findings released last week revealed that all four had suffered multiple stab wounds from a large knife.
The deaths have been ruled homicides with the killer or killers still at large a week on from the slayings. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt confirmed that some of the victims had defensive wounds from the knife attack, adding that she had seen “nothing, nothing like this” in her almost two-decade-long career.
There was no sign of sexual assault on any of the victims but they each suffered “pretty extensive” wounds, she told NBC News, confirming that each victim was stabbed a different amount of times and in different places on the body.
Two roommates were in the house at the time of the attack but were not harmed. They are not necessarily considered witnesses or suspects in the investigation, police said.
Officials have refused to reveal who called 911 but did provide new details about the mystery call, adding that it was made from the cellphone of one of the two roommates.
Authorities said that more details will be released during a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.