Moscow, Idaho police chief dismisses quadruple murders becoming unsolved case: ‘We’re going to solve this’

MOSCOW, Idaho – The chief of the Moscow, Idaho Police Department has dismissed the possibility that the investigation into the Nov. 13 slayings of four University of Idaho students has gone cold, saying the case will be resolved.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry made the comments to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News on Thursday, more than two weeks after the four University of Idaho students, Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were fatally stabbed at a house on King Road near the college campus between 3 and 4 a.m.

“I’m not even going to speculate on it, number one, because it’s not even on my mind,” Frye said when asked if the incident would become a cold case. “We will resolve this. We will continue to work until we resolve it.”

The two roommates, who were unharmed in the attack, woke up later in the morning on November 13 and “called out” to friends because they “thought one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and was not waking up,” police said, adding that the call to 911 at 11:58 a.m. was made on the cell phone of one of the roommates. “Several people” spoke to the 911 dispatcher before police arrived at the home, officials said.

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Moscow Police Chief James Fry speaks at a Nov. 20 news conference about the unsolved murders of four University of Idaho students.
(Derek Schock for Fox News Digital)

When police arrived, they “found two victims on the second floor and two victims on the third floor.”

During the interview, Frye said little information is being released to protect the integrity of the cases.

“We’re always going to hold things back as much as possible because when you’re talking about the integrity of the case, you’re talking about when it goes to trial, did you taint a jury?” Frye said. “There’s a much bigger picture here than just letting people know. Because for the trial to be fair, there must be people who do not know the facts and have already formed their own opinion about them.”

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women's two other roommates in Goncalves' latest Instagram post, shared the day before the murders.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women’s two other roommates in Goncalves’ latest Instagram post, shared the day before the murders.
(@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)

Fry also addressed community complaints about the speed of the investigation.

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“I think people need to realize that these things take time to process the evidence and process it properly without it being destroyed or contaminated,” he said.

Fry said the police department remains confident the attack was targeted.

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On Wednesday evening, the Moscow Police Department said in a news release that “detectives do not know at this time if the residence or occupants were specifically targeted, but are continuing to investigate.”

A memorial for the slain students at the University of Idaho, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, is covered in snow.  The memorial honors the victims of a quadruple homicide that occurred at an off-campus home on Nov. 13.

A memorial for the slain students at the University of Idaho, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, is covered in snow. The memorial honors the victims of a quadruple homicide that occurred at an off-campus home on Nov. 13.
(Derek Schock for Fox News Digital)

In a statement provided to Fox News on Thursday, the Moscow Police Department clarified that it believes the attack was targeted.

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Investigators search a home in Moscow, Idaho, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, where four University of Idaho students were killed over the weekend in an apparent quadruple homicide.  The victims are Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash.;  Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho;  Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Idaho;  and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Investigators search a home in Moscow, Idaho, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, where four University of Idaho students were killed over the weekend in an apparent quadruple homicide. The victims are Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash.; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Idaho; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.
(Derek Schock for Fox News Digital)

“Our clarification last night directly addressed comments made by Latah County District Attorney Thompson who said that the suspect(s) specifically looked at this residence and that one or more of the occupants were undoubtedly targeted. We remain consistent in our belief that this was indeed a targeted attack, but have not concluded whether the residence or its occupants were the target,” the statement said.

Fox News’ Kristina Coleman and Alexandria Hernandez contributed to this report.

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