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CHILLING: Are Idaho murders heading for COLD CASE status? No arrests or suspect even after a month

On November 13, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle were murdered in their residence in King Road, Moscow, Idaho
UPDATED DEC 14, 2022
Police is still to find the culprit or suspect of the Idaho murders that killed four youngsters in an apartment ( KREM 2 screenshot/ YouTube, Xanox Kernodle/ Instagram, Kaylee Goncalves/ Instagram)
Police is still to find the culprit or suspect of the Idaho murders that killed four youngsters in an apartment ( KREM 2 screenshot/ YouTube, Xanox Kernodle/ Instagram, Kaylee Goncalves/ Instagram)

This article is based on sources, and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.

MOSCOW, IDAHO: It has been a month since the brutal slaying of four students of the University of Idaho on November 13, and yet the case remains unsolved with no suspect, motive, or murder weapon. Moreover, the investigation team has not given out any information to the public.

According to The Independent, it is concerning as no arrest, no suspects, and no murder weapon are some of the crucial signs of a cold case.  Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were found stabbed to death between 3-4 am on their off-campus rented house in Idaho.


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However, according to Newsweek, Moscow Police Public information officer Robbie Johnson stated, "This is not a cold case and what you can see to show that is we have so many tips coming in...we have essentially an army of experts and support from the FBI to go through all these tips and the tips are valuable." A cold case as defined by the National Institute of Justice in 2008 states, "The National Institute of Justice currently defines a cold case as any case whose probative investigative leads have been exhausted. In essence, this means a case that is only a few months old may be defined as being 'cold." 

(Screenshot from CBS News/ YouTube)
The house where the four students were brutally killed (Screenshot from CBS News/YouTube)

The team has received continuous criticism from the victim's parents. Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee Goncalves, stated, “They’ve messed up a million times. But I don’t get to say that because what experience does Steve have? He doesn’t know. He’s just a dad who woke up one day and had his life turned upside down, reported Fox News Digital. On the other hand, Xana's mother, Cara Northington, said, "There is so much that can be done that has not been done. They haven’t said anything. I learn more on the news and TV than what they do have said to me," reported News Week. Steve also said, “We’re gunna get our justice,” he continued. “We’re gunna figure stuff out. This community deserves that.”

(Instagram/Autumn Goncalves, Xana Kernodle)
Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle (L) Kaylee Goncalves, and Madison Mogen (R) the victims of the slian killings (Instagram/Autumn Goncalves, Xana Kernodle)

Meanwhile, Moscow Police Chief James Fry previously stated to Fox News, "This case is not going cold. We have tips coming in; we have investigators out every day interviewing people. We’re still reviewing evidence; we’re still looking at all aspects of this. I said early on that no stone will go unturned, and I mean that." An expert, William King, a professor, and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Boise State University told Newsweek, "Looking at the time elapsed between a homicide and clearance (clearance as the arrest of a suspect) (Recgoeczi et al.), half (50%) of homicides are solved with an arrest of a suspect by day 17. After day 17, the probability of solving the homicide with an arrest tail off gradually. The data reveal that suspects are still arrested between days 17 and 100, and eventually, 60 percent of homicides are solved by day 243"

James Fry (Fox News screenshot/ YouTube)
James Fry, Head of investigation (Fox News screenshot/ YouTube)

Meanwhile, Aaron Snell, Idaho State Patrol communications Director and public information officer said, "The leads and tips are still very high-quality. They’re helping us, the community has been exceptionally responsive to our request for information.” Snell also added, “I don’t know that having a case that’s four weeks old is a long time. It is obviously for the family and the community, no doubt about that. There’s fear and desire for this case to be solved in the community. But as far as, like, a homicide, a case of this magnitude, I don’t know that four weeks is a ‘long time’ for a case that’s this complex," reported

Steve Goncalves is the father of Kaylee Goncalves (Fox news screenshot/ YouTube)
Steve Goncalves is the father of Kaylee Goncalves (Fox news screenshot/ YouTube)

Snell further added, “As we have information, we are trying to get it to the public. I think part of the frustration within the communities and the families … is ‘a lack of information coming from the police department.’ The thing that people have to be cognitive of is that this is a criminal investigation, and so the information that we have, we can’t provide it all to the public.”

John Skaggs, a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective, stated, “Four weeks does not alarm me. The first thing I ask about any murder is who’s handling it and what’s their experience? Every agency does well on the easy murder, like domestic violence or the two drunk guys in the backyard who get (mad) at each other. In most rural areas, where the state police are likely to help with homicide investigations, there are “very few cases where they don’t have a suspect right away," reported

Another expert, Kenneth Mains, a former law enforcement official and founder of the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases, also explained to Newsweek, "Cases go cold when there are no more leads to follow up on. You have done all the interviews, watched the surveillance videos, and got all the lab reports back. Nothing. You reach out to experts to help, but it doesn't. Nothing. Then you look at your desk and see all the other cases piling up because you haven't had time to work on them."

Further, he added, "Suddenly, the case gets pushed for the first time to the side of your desk, and you start working on other cases until a lead comes in...then you follow up on that lead because as a detective that's all you want is another lead! But that new lead is a dead end. Nothing. Eventually the case goes off your desk into a drawer and becomes cold. That's how it happens. Without warning, without hesitation, it becomes cold. There is no time frame when this's when all leads dry up and you start working on another case. That's how cases become cold." However, an unidentified car – a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra was found near the victim's home. 

Meanwhile, according to statistics from the FBI in 2020, 54 percent of homicides were cleared by arresting and charging the suspected killers, reported The Independent. Thomas Hargrove, founder and chairman of the nonprofit the Murder Accountability Project about which he said, “Unfortunately, we’re right on the edge of becoming the first Western nation to allow more murders to go unsolved than they are solved. And the longer a case rumbles on, the likelihood of it being solved only diminishes further. It’s a depressing curve. Nothing good happens over time in a murder investigation." 

Melanie-Angela Neuilly, chair of the criminal justice and criminology department at Washington State University, said, “When we’re looking at statistics, this type of event is definitely a rare event. The use of sharp objects tends to be correlated with the offenders knowing their victims,” Neuilly said. “And having a closer relationship with their victims than (using) a gun, for instance. This case is already rare and an outlier, meaning investigators can consider these norms, but they won’t necessarily bear out in this case. Ultimately, they’re left to figure it out in the trenches." 

Skaggs also revealed to, “That could make things tougher,” Skaggs said. “Plus, you have 30 people leaving fingerprints, body fluids and everything else around the house. “They definitely have more than what you and I know. They could know who their suspect is and they’re just trying to clean things up. The only thing worse than not catching a bad guy is catching the wrong guy.”