Moscow police and the University of Idaho have identified the four college students who were found dead just off campus Sunday afternoon.
The students were Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.
(Note: Some of the identifying details were inconsistent between the police and university news releases. This reflects the university’s spelling and hometowns.)
Police continue to investigate the students’ deaths, the department said in its news release. “Details are limited in this investigation,” police said.
Moscow police do not believe there is an ongoing risk to the community based on the information gathered during the preliminary investigation, the news release said. No one was in custody, police said.
Police did not address how the four U of I students died, which the university reported Sunday as suspected homicides. Each of the students’ families was notified of their deaths, which led to the public release of their names, Capt. Anthony Dahlinger told the Idaho Statesman.
At this time, police are not releasing the cause and manner of the students’ deaths because it is an ongoing investigation, Dahlinger said in a phone interview. He said he couldn’t share whether autopsies would be conducted on the four students.
The Latah County Coroner’s Office did not respond to Statesman requests for information Monday.
Dahlinger said he did not know whether any of the four students was previously known to police, and was unable to share if any of them was a tenant of the property where their bodies were found.
Mogen was a senior majoring in marketing in the university’s College of Business and Economics, while Goncalves also was a senior, majoring in general studies in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, according to U of I. Kernodle was a junior majoring in marketing in the business school, and a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Chapin was a freshman majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management in the university’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He also was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, the university said.
Idaho Vandals football coach Jason Eck and university associate athletic director Jerek Wolcott still held a regularly scheduled Monday press conference, at which they expressed some of the greater community’s grief.
“This is not a typical thing to happen in Moscow, Idaho …,” Eck said. “So I think it’s very disconcerting to a lot of students and a lot of people in the whole community.”
Added Wolcott: “It’s a sad day for our community, and we are frustrated with the violence in this community and saddened and disheartened by it.”
911 call leads to homicide investigation
Police responded just before noon Pacific time Sunday to a report of an unconscious individual in the 1100 block of King Road in Moscow. Dahlinger told the Statesman he was unable at this time to release who called 911 dispatch with the report.
The Moscow Fire Department also responded to the home, located just off the U of I campus, fire Chief Brian Nickerson told the Statesman on Monday morning.
Nickerson said a crew was sent to the residence on a medical call, also just before noon Sunday. His volunteer department sent an ambulance and a fire engine, which he said is standard for such calls, but none of his team entered the home because police were already there and medical treatment was deemed unneeded.
“We weren’t there very long,” Nickerson said by phone. “The (police department) was there prior to us arriving, so we determined we didn’t need to do anything at that point.”
Police have yet to allow anyone from the property management firm that oversees the residence to enter the rental, Merida McClanahan, supervisor at Team Idaho Real Estate & Property Management, told the Statesman on Monday.
“They are asking us to stand by pending the investigation, which is still open and ongoing,” McClanahan said by phone.
“We are terribly concerned for our tenants and their families,” McClanahan said. “We’re grieving along with them and we are waiting patiently and anxiously like everyone else for more official information from the Moscow Police Department.”
She would not say whether any of the four students was a tenant at the property.
A listing on Apartments.com updated two weeks ago detailed a six-bedroom, three-bathroom house for rent at $2,495 per month. The listing described the home as one of the top campus housing options available.
Moscow Mayor Art Bettge said that only limited information could be shared with the public about the students’ deaths “without jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation” being conducted by the city police department, with support from multiple other agencies. He called on the community to come together to mourn and help one another through these shocking circumstances.
“This tragedy serves as a sobering reminder that senseless acts of violence can occur anywhere, at any time, and we are not immune from such events here in our own community,” Bettge said in a Monday afternoon statement. “Today, we grieve for those who were lost and those they leave behind.”
The U of I campus remained open Monday, but classes were canceled out of respect for the four students’ deaths, the school said in a Sunday evening statement. Classes were scheduled to resume Tuesday.
Drop-in counseling services for those students seeking support are available Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at the university’s student union building. Students also were welcomed to drop by the Dean of Students Office if they needed help.
“An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in the statement. “As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up.”
“The Moscow Police Department and the city of Moscow is deeply saddened for the families of these individuals, fellow students and friends, and our community during this time,” police said in the news release. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to each and every person affected by this incident.”
(Idaho Statesman reporter Shaun Goodwin contributed to this article.)
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