The University of Idaho president mourned the loss of four students Wednesday who were murdered in their home near the school on the morning of Nov. 13, calling their deaths “beyond comprehension.”
President Scott Green was joined by Provost Tory Lawrence and Dean of Students Blaine Eccles during a press conference Wednesday afternoon with Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry and other law enforcement officials, where they shared details on the quadruple homicide of Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
“This crime and the loss of these young lives is just simply beyond comprehension. While our small community is certainly not immune to such things. It’s not a situation our close-knit campus is used to dealing with,” Green said.
“First, my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ethan, Kaylie, Zina and Madison,” the school administrator said. “Their loss has been devastating and they were bright lights in our community and are deeply missed and remain in our thoughts and our prayers.”
Green said the school is fully cooperating with Moscow police “when asked and continually pushed for information whenever possible.”
Police at the same presser said there is “possibly” still a threat to the Moscow community as no persons of interest or suspects have been placed in custody as of Wednesday evening.
“We do not have a suspect at this time, and we cannot say there is no threat to the community,” Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said.
“We just want justice for these victims,” Green added later.
The University of Idaho president said the focus of the school is to “support our students and our employees” as they navigate the coming days and weeks and tackle whatever additional information the investigation may unravel.
“We are encouraging students and employees to take care of themselves as we head into Thanksgiving break. I want to take a moment to commend our faculty and staff who have been on the front lines helping our students, whether that is providing counseling to those in need of support,” he added.
“The weeks ahead will continue to challenge us as this loss and the circumstances around this crime become known. We will support each other as we grieve and we’ll move through this together as a family,” Green concluded.
Most of the university’s students had already returned home before the murders took place.
Police are continuing to investigate the four murders and provided few details at the Wednesday presser of what may have taken place Sunday.
Officials said that there were no signs of forcible entry and that the four victims suffered fatal knife wounds. No weapon was located at the scene, though.