Moscow police swamped with 911 calls by local community gripped with fear as Idaho murders remain unsolved
MOSCOW, IDAHO: As the investigation into the quadruple murders involving four local university students enters its third week, the Moscow police are having to deal with an influx of callers who are worried for their safety. Since the bodies of the four University of Idaho students were found, brutally stabbed to death, on November 13, there has been a surge in 911 calls from people reporting "unusual circumstances" or asking for welfare checks on loved ones.
They have received 78 calls for strange circumstances and 36 requests that they conduct a welfare check, according to a press release issued by the department on November 27, in contrast to the 70 and 18, respectively, that the police received for the entirety of October, Fox News reports. Police are also warning about a pattern in which callers are alerting friends or relatives before calling officers to respond, according to officials.
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"We understand there is a sense of fear within our community," police said. "For life-safety and emergencies, we want to remind our community to call 9-1-1 before notifying family or friends."
University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21, were fatally stabbed, early in the morning of November 13. No suspect or suspects have been identified by police and the murder weapon, thought to be a "fixed blade knife," has not been found yet either. The murdered quartet's worried roomates called their other friends to the house before calling the police — much like the 'delayed 911 call' pattern pointed out by the police on November 27.
On November 13, just before noon, Moscow Police got a call about a "unconscious person" at the King Road residence; however, by the time officers arrived, a crowd had already gathered there, according to officials. The 911 call "originated from inside the residence," according to the police and they established that one of the surviving roommates had made the call. The dispatcher had received many calls before officers actually arrived.
The investigators have concluded that after they had come home following a night out, all four students were probably stabbed while they were sleeping between 3 and 4 am. It appears that some of the victims made an effort to defend themselves too. "All four victims are believed to have been killed using a single "fixed-blade knife," police said.
At the time of the murders, two additional roommates were inside the house on the ground level, but they escaped without harm. Authorities described the attack as "targeted," but they did not identify the intended victim.
The FBI portal, according to the police, has received more than 488 "digital media submissions" on November 27. Colonel Kedrick Wills of the Idaho State Police reported that as of November 23, investigators had gathered 103 pieces of evidence from the crime scene and taken around 4,000 images. "We’ve conducted multiple 3D scans of the residence, and we have hundreds of hours used by technicians and investigators, including our forensics teams and detectives from multiple agencies," Wills continued. Brad Little, the governor of Idaho, has since allocated up to $1 million for the ongoing murder investigation.