Categories: US

Garbage truck collected trash from Idaho murder home before being searched

Cops in Moscow, Idaho, allowed a garbage truck filled with trash to collect a dumpster from the house where four University of Idaho students were knifed to death – before it had been searched, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The error made the search for the knife used in the gruesome attack that much more difficult.

Police have been searching for the knife – referred to as an ‘edged weapon’ by Jim Fry, the town’s police chief – in trash cans around the area where the four students were found dead on Sunday morning.

Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show cops in a desperate conversation with garbage men from Inland North Waste – which eventually resulted in hazmat-suited officers having to search the full contents of the truck.

The Tuesday morning incident also saw separate trash trucks brought in to collect the contents of another two trash containers near the house before the vehicles drove away in convoy with three cop cars.

DailyMail.com photographed the trucks arriving at the waste depot 10 minutes later and police were seen sifting through the trash bags in search of the murder weapon.

Police investigating the murders were seen in a desperate conversation with garbage men who collected trash from the home

Moscow, Idaho, police allowed a trash can that was outside the murder scene to be collected before searching it, causing the contents to be mixed up with the neighbors’ trash 

Hazmat-suited cops were forced to search the full contents of the garbage truck at the depot just outside Moscow, Idaho

The mix-up with the trash cans is one in a series of missteps by police investigating the case 

Officers investigating the murders are seen talking with sanitation workers outside of the home where four students were murdered 

Trash from nearby homes was mixed with the garbage from the murder house Tuesday morning

The Tuesday morning incident also saw separate trash trucks brought in to collect the contents of another two bins near the house before the vehicles – accompanied by three cop cars – drove away in convoy

Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin  were both killed Sunday along with best friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves  

Police have been investigating the brutal killings of students Xana Kernodle, 20, Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, since Sunday when they were called to their Moscow home to deal with an ‘unconscious person’.

The mix-up with the trash cans is one in a series of apparent missteps by police investigating the case, along with failing to interview the owner of the food truck where Kaylee and Madison were last seen, a series of contradictory statements and a lack of communication.

As a result, the investigation has been called into question by the devastated families of the slain students. 

Ethan Chapin’s father Jim released a statement slamming the cops.

‘There is a lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media,’ Chapin Sr. said.

‘The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder. For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant and protect the greater community.’

He said: ‘There is a lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media.

‘The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder. For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant and protect the greater community.’  

Kaylee Goncalves’s sisters have also spoken out, begging parents of students at the University of Idaho to remove them from campus.

Autumn Goncalves wrote on Instagram: ‘No one is in custody and therefore no one is safe. Whoever did this to my sisters (Maddie and Kaylee) is still out there and if he is sick enough to murder FOUR sweet, innocent humans so brutally, he is sick enough to do it to anyone else.’

She continued: ‘Our family was dreading the answer for ‘how’ and we all knew that no matter the answer, we wouldn’t like it, but we got back the worst possible answer.

‘The most gruesome way. One person against four. This person is dangerous and he is not in custody!!! How police say ‘no threat’ MAKES NO SENSE.’

She said Maddie and Kaylee, who grew up together in the Couer d’Alene area, did everything right.

‘They went out together. They locked their doors,’ she wrote.

‘They were smart and they were fighters and this STILL happened. No one is safe. Please get your loved ones home.’

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Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin were both killed Sunday along with best friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Moscow Police Chief James Fry conceded that what had previously been described as ‘a targeted attack’ could pose a threat to the wider community

The two roommates who escaped death while their four friends were knifed at their off-campus house are Bethany Funke (left) and Dylan Mortensen, (right)

Another sister, Aubrie, said the lack of information had led to wild rumors. ‘This had nothing to do with drugs, and the accusations that people are throwing at Maddie, Kaylee, and her friends are extremely hurtful to read.

‘They did nothing wrong and took all the precautions they should’ve, and they were still killed,’ she added.

Like her sister Aubrie begged students to leave town. ‘Your grades are severely less important than your lives,’ she wrote.

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson tells DailyMail.com that authorities have ‘no viable’ suspect’ in the murders of four University of Idaho students

‘You guys are not safe until this sicko is found.’

A third Goncalves sister, Alivea, told Chris Cuomo on NewsNation:’ There’s nothing – no boy problem, no threat, no high risk lifestyle that could have indicated this. It has taken all of us completely by shock and we have absolutely no ideas.’

Alivea said she accepted that authorities in small-town Moscow are ‘overwhelmed’, but added: ‘I want more coverage I want more done. I want more people speaking out.’

Meanwhile, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson pointed out the contradictions between the varying police statements

Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Thompson said: ‘I have heard nothing to indicate they have identified a viable suspect or heard evidence that could lead to a suspect.’

He added: ‘It could very well be [a lengthy investigation] – I think that all depends on the answers they’re able to find.

‘If they’re lucky, they will find answers for who is responsible for this and what happened quickly, or it could be they don’t get those answers quickly and have to keep digging.’

He said: ‘Obviously there’s no way police can say there’s no risk but what they’re seeing indicates that there’s not a risk this person will randomly attack people.’

He added: ‘I don’t think they’re going to foreclose the possibility that it could be one or more people but right now they don’t know who is responsible.’

In a separate interview with the Today show, he said it is possible there is more than one killer and said: ‘At this point, the investigators are looking at all possibilities. They don’t have a specific suspect. We’re really hoping for any information from the public to recreate everyone’s activities’.

Police in Idaho said they responded to a call of an unconscious person at the home just before noon on Sunday

Students held a vigil for the murdered youngsters on Thursday. Many are now fleeing campus out of fear that the killer remains on the loose 

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Moscow Police Chief James Fry conceded that what had previously been described as ‘a targeted attack’ could pose a threat to the wider community and said investigators are still desperate for new information and tips.

He also revealed that two other girls – who have since been identified as sophomores Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke – had been in the home at the time of the early morning massacre but gave no details about how they survived the slayings; merely telling reporters that they are helping with the investigation.

Your grades are severely less important than your lives 

Aubrie Goncalves on why students should leave Moscow immediately 

Fry also refused to reveal who dialed 911 at 11.38am on Sunday morning – nine hours after the students were killed – and said they did not have a name or location for a suspect.

The police chief continued to refer to the murder weapon as an ‘edged weapon’ – despite a report in the Idaho Statesman which included an interview with a local business owner who said he received a visit from police on Monday asking whether he had recently sold a military-style Ka-Bar brand knife.

Scott Jute, of Moscow Building Supply, told the outlet he was unable to help because the store does not sell the ‘Rambo-style’ blades.

He said: ‘They were specifically asking whether or not we carry Ka-Bar-style knives, which we do not.

‘If we did, we could’ve reviewed surveillance footage. But it wasn’t something I could help them with.’

The fearsome blades, which are made in Olean, New York, are large ‘Rambo-style’ knives originally created for use by US troops fighting in World War II.

Jacky

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