Authorities investigating the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students as they slept said Tuesday that detectives have looked extensively into information that one of the victims had a stalker and have not been able to verify it.
Investigators have pursued “hundreds of pieces of information” about the possibility of Kaylee Goncalves having a stalker but haven’t been able to “verify or identify” a potential person of interest, the Moscow Police Department said in a news release. Police asked community members to submit any information that could help detectives to the Moscow police tip line.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier said that detectives first heard mention of a possible stalker through “some interviews” conducted in the course of the investigation.
“We have followed up looking at specific timeframes and specific areas of town,” Lanier said. “So far, we have not been able to corroborate it, but we’re not done looking into that piece of information.”
Authorities have said they have no identifiable suspects or weapon more than a week after the Nov. 13 killings shook the Idaho Panhandle town of 25,000 residents.
Police also said Tuesday that there’s been much conversation about how to describe the weapon thought to be used in the attacks. The department called it a fix-blade knife — usually stronger than a folding pocket knife, variations of this blade are used for hunting, survival camping and the military — and said detectives were continuing to search for it.
Officers have visited a local home improvement store, called Moscow Building Supply, multiple times since the stabbings, according to the Idaho Statesman. Scott Jutte, the store’s general manager, told the newspaper last week that police had inquired about Ka-Bar knives, which is a brand of combat-style, fixed-blade knives, and whether the store sells them.
Idaho State Police spokesperson Aaron Snell said in a statement officers had done the same at multiple local hardware stores, and were not specifically focused on Ka-Bar knives, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The victims’ names are: Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho. Mogen, Kernodle and Goncalves were roommates, who lived in the home where all four bodies were found. Chapin was dating Kernodle, but did not live there.
Authorities have said they were each stabbed multiple times, and that some had defensive wounds.
On Sunday, law enforcement officers investigating the deaths asked for patience after a week passed with no arrests.
Police have said evidence leads them to believe the students were targeted, but have repeatedly declined to give details.
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