The killings of four University of Idaho students Sunday in their off-campus home has brought in the investigative powers of the local Moscow Police, state police and the FBI.
Days after the deaths, there is no suspect or murder weapon, and police have been tight-lipped on what they know.
Still, they have provided some information on the killings, and a preliminary timeline reveals some of their final hours as well as the investigative response.
Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were students at the University of Idaho who lived at a nearby off-campus residence in Moscow, a college town of about 25,000 people.
They had two other roommates at the residence, a three-floor, six-bedroom apartment.
Goncalves posted a series of photos on her Instagram at some point with the caption “one lucky girl to be surrounded by these ppl everyday.” One of the photos shows Mogen sitting on Goncalves’ shoulders, with Chapin and Kernodle standing next to them.
That night, Chapin and Kernodle went to a party on campus, and Mogen and Goncalves went to a downtown bar, police said.
Mogen and Goncalves ordered at a late-night food truck at about 1:41 a.m., the food truck’s live Twitch stream shows.
They ordered $10 worth of carbonara from the Grub Truckers and wait for about 10 minutes for their food. As they waited, they could be seen chatting with each other and with other people standing by the truck.
Joseph Woodall, 26, who manages the truck, said the two students did not seem to be in distress or in danger in any way.
Video shows two University of Idaho victims at food truck on night of killings
Mogen, Goncalves, Chapin and Kernodle returned to the home at some point in the early morning hours.
At about noon Sunday, a call came in to 911 about an unconscious person at an off-campus residence. Police did not say who called 911.
Arriving officers found the door to the residence open and discovered the bodies of four fatally stabbed students.
“It was a pretty traumatic scene to find four dead college students in a residence,” Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt later told CNN affiliate KXLY.
There was no sign of forced entry or damage, police said.
Moscow Police issued a statement saying four people were found dead in a home off campus. University of Idaho President Scott Green announced that the four victims were students and canceled classes on Monday.
Moscow Police issued a statement identifying the four homicide victims as Chapin, Goncalves, Kernodle and Mogen.
Police said details were limited and no one was in custody. They added that Moscow Police “does not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation.”
Moscow Mayor Art Bettge released a statement calling the deaths “senseless acts of violence.” Bettge said only limited information can be shared without “jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation.”
Green issued a statement offering condolences to the victims’ families and the community.
“Moscow police do not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation, however, we ask our employees to be empathetic, flexible and to work with our students who desire to return home to spend time with their families,” he said.
Moscow Police issued a statement saying that an “edged weapon such as a knife” was used in the killings. Police said no suspects were in custody and they had not found the murder weapon.
“Also, based on information from the preliminary investigation, investigators believe this was an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large,” police said.
Later in the day, police released another statement that attempted to calm fears of a killer on the loose.
“We hear you, and we understand your fears,” police said. “We determined early in the investigation that we do not believe there is an ongoing threat for community members. Evidence indicates that this was a targeted attack.”
Police Chief James Fry held a press conference – the department’s first in the case – and reiterated there was no suspect. He also backtracked on the assurances that no one is at risk.
“We cannot say there’s no threat to the community,” Fry said. “And as we have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
The two other roommates were home at the time of the attack and were not injured, Fry said.
“There was other people home at that time, but we’re not just focusing just on them, we’re focusing on everybody that may be coming and going from that residence,” he said.
The university’s often-packed parking lots had many empty spots after scores of students decided to return home or leave the area.
“Everybody kind of just went back home because they’re scared. … It’s definitely uneasy on campus right now,” student Nathan Tinno told CNN.
Tinno, who said the community is trying to approach the tragedy with sympathy, added the fact that no perpetrator has been caught in the case has elevated the sense of fear on campus.
Hoping for tips from the community, investigators release a map and timeline of the victims’ movements last weekend.
The map shows the four students spent most of the night separated in pairs.
“Most definitely someone somewhere has a tidbit of information that will help break this case open and we believe the public around here will have that information for us,” Idaho State Police Communications Director Aaron Snell said.
The victims were found on the second and third floors of their home, Snell told CNN.
Mabbutt, the coroner, told CNN she saw “lots of blood on the wall” when she arrived at the scene. She confirmed there were multiple stab wounds on each body – likely from the same weapon – but would not disclose how many wounds nor where most were located.