Idaho Murders: Investigators work through Thanksgiving while college town shuts down

MOSCOW, Idaho — Eleven days after the horrific stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, Moscow has become a ghost town.

It was a gloomy Thanksgiving day when nearly all businesses on Main Street were closed except for the gym. Many students had gone home to spend the holidays with family or to distance themselves from the shocking unsolved murders.

Outside of Mad Greek, a makeshift memorial honors the victims. It’s one of several that have surfaced around town and on campus.

Two of the victims, Madison Mogen, 21, and Xana Kernodle, 20, worked there. A flyer is hanging in the shop window asking the public for tips.

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The four victims of the University of Idaho killings on November 13, 2022.

The four victims of the University of Idaho killings on November 13, 2022.
(Instagram/@kayleegoncalves)

“I don’t know what to say other than that you were amazing individuals who didn’t deserve this,” read a note.

The two women, along with Ethan Chapin, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on November 13 in their sleep at a rental home where the three young women lived with two other roommates who were not injured party. Chapin was Kernodle’s friend and stayed the night.

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A woman who works at the cafe near Moscow Police Headquarters said she didn’t expect anyone else to be open on the holiday.

Few cars drove through the area. Most parking lots were empty.

Mourners have left notes at makeshift memorials around town and on campus for the four University of Idaho students who were killed.

Mourners have left notes at makeshift memorials around town and on campus for the four University of Idaho students who were killed.
(Michael Ruiz/Fox News Digital)

But investigators were seen working through the holidays, starting late in the morning.

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FBI personnel and uniformed officers came and went. A plainclothes man came forward briefly, said police headquarters had “packed up” and returned through the locked front doors.

Members of the FBI team arrive at the Moscow, Idaho, Police Department on Thanksgiving following joint murders.

Members of the FBI team arrive at the Moscow, Idaho, Police Department on Thanksgiving following joint murders.
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

Two people came to drop off boxes of donuts, and once a truck came to load gas into the mobile command center stationed in the guarded parking lot behind the police station earlier in the day.

WATCH: Moscow police provide an update:

Moscow Police Chief James Fry did not immediately respond to questions about Thanksgiving staffing, but at a news conference on Wednesday, authorities said they planned to continue investigations over the holiday.

Moscow, Idaho, cruisers in the police station parking lot on Thanksgiving.  Uniformed officers and members of the FBI were seen coming and going on the holiday morning.

Moscow, Idaho, cruisers in the police station parking lot on Thanksgiving. Uniformed officers and members of the FBI were seen coming and going on the holiday morning.
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

Aaron Snell, the Idaho State Police communications director, told Fox News Digital Thursday that investigators would work around the clock and on Thanksgiving and during the holiday weekend.

“We have numerous detectives who are still working, FBI agents who are still working,” he said. “You will work through this holiday and weekend.”

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Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy stood guard outside the victims’ home just off campus. Behind them, pink tape sealed the front door, marked and time-stamped for each investigator who entered.

A Latah County congressman watches over the crime scene on Thanksgiving morning.

A Latah County congressman watches over the crime scene on Thanksgiving morning.
(Michael Ruiz/Fox News Digital)

Crime scene police tape remains around the property where the blinds have been closed. The victims’ cars were still outside as of Thursday morning.

And the investigators cut out their work for them. A classmate told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the victims lived in a known “party house” through which dozens of friends may have passed in the days leading up to the murder, complicating the collection of DNA evidence at the crime scene.

The backyard of an off-campus home where the victims were murdered is seen through police cordon tape.

The backyard of an off-campus home where the victims were murdered is seen through police cordon tape.
(Michael Ruiz/Fox News Digital)

“They could have had a party of 40, 50 people last week, so hair evidence, all that stuff gets very suspicious,” said Joseph Giacalone, an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a retired NYPD sergeantsaid Fox News Digital. “Because of the dynamics you’re dealing with here, you have to rely on phone records, internet recordings and surveillance video to try to piece this thing together.”

Police have not publicly identified any suspects or persons of interest.

But they have excluded the two female housemates who were downstairs at the time of the murders, a man who appeared on surveillance video at a food truck at the same time as Goncalves and Mogen shortly before they returned, a driver of a “private party”. who brought her to the house, Goncalves ex-boyfriend and a group of friends who were present at the house on Sunday morning when the first 911 call was made.

University of Idaho victims Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were seen in video footage hours before their deaths.

University of Idaho victims Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were seen in video footage hours before their deaths.
(Twitch/ GrubTruckers)

Police said on Wednesday they took 4,000 photos and collected 103 “evidence”.

They also said detectives seized the contents of three dumpsters on King Road as part of the investigation.

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They’re urging anyone in the area with surveillance footage to turn them over.

They have not found the murder weapon and have been unable to confirm reports that Goncalves had a stalker before the attack.

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“Kaylee mentioned having a stalker, but detectives could not confirm the statement,” police said in a statement. “Investigators are asking anyone with information about a potential stalker or unusual cases to contact the hotline.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the tip hotline at 208-883-7180 ​​or email [email protected]



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