The parents of one of the University of Idaho stabbing victims have claimed that two of the students killed in their off-campus home last month have conflicting “death means.”
Steven and Kristi Goncalves recently spoke out about the murder of their daughter Kaylee as the patience of the Moscow, Idaho police department runs out three weeks after the unsolved murders.
Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were all stabbed to death on Nov. 13, likely while they slept, according to the Latah County coroner. Police have not yet named any suspects, persons of interest or a motive in the case.
“I’ll get to the point — their means of death don’t match,” Kaylee’s father, Steven Goncalves, told me. Lawrence Jones cross country on Saturday. He has said that Kaylee and Mogen were sleeping in the same bed when the attack happened.
“Their points of damage don’t match,” he added. ‘I’m just going to say it. It was not leaked to me. I deserved that. I paid for that funeral. … I sent my daughter to college. She came back in a box, and I can relate to that.’
Last week, Kaylee’s mother, Kristi Goncalves, told News Nation she believes police cleared some individuals “very quickly.”
The grieving parents have said they support their law enforcement, but are frustrated to wake up every day with no answers.
Survivors Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (right) broke their silence in heartbreaking statements on Friday after the murders of their four friends: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle
In a statement on Saturday, Moscow police said it had received thousands of tips but “no suspect has been identified at this time.”
“We just don’t have any information as a family. And it’s tough, day after day after day,” Kristi Goncalves told “Lawrence Jones” on Saturday.
“I mean, every day you just wake up and think, ‘Today we’re going to hear something,’ and you see this, ‘Oh, there’s a rift in the case,’ and it’s just going to be something stupid.”
Idaho police say they still have no viable suspects in the massacre of four University of Idaho students at their home last month, while the two roommates who survived the attack have spoken out in heartbreaking statements.
Local police and Moscow police chief James Fry have faced sharp criticism in recent days, including from the families of the victims, over the lack of clear progress in the case.
Kaylee’s parents have said she thinks the police have acquitted some people too quickly.
“I just feel like there are a few individuals who got acquitted very quickly, which maybe shouldn’t have happened,” Kristi Goncalves told NewsNation last week, adding that she knows “nothing about those individuals,” but she thinks the police may have given them early permission for their investigation. It’s not clear if she was referring to anyone in particular.
“I just know they were people who absolutely should have been looked at,” she said.
Moscow police shared this statement on Saturday, admitting they have not made solid progress in catching the killer of four students murdered in their beds last month
Moscow Police Chief James Fry is seen. Idaho police say they still have no viable suspects in the massacre of four University of Idaho students at their home last month
In the new statement on Saturday, the department said “only vetted information that does not impede the investigation will be made public.”
“There is speculation, without any factual basis, that fuels the fear of the community and spreads false information,” the statement said.
The department said it received 2,645 email tips and more than 2,770 calls to the tip hotline, as well as 1,084 digital media submissions to the FBI.
Investigators are studying more than 113 pieces of physical evidence and about 4,000 crime scene photos, the department said.
Meanwhile, survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, who slept on the first floor of the house as the murders unfolded on the upper floors, broke their silence in heartbreaking statements read Friday by a minister from Real Life Ministries.
Mortensen wrote touching tributes to her friends, saying that Kernodle and Chapin, who were a couple, were “the two best friends, but a perfect pair together.”
“They had an unstoppable, loving relationship. They would both look at each other with so much love. Everyone knew they were the perfect duo,” she wrote.
“They both had a fun, passionate, crazy but good energy. They were both the kind of people who cared about everyone and would help everyone.’
She went on to describe Mogen and Goncalves as “an inseparable duo” who were “like second mothers to me.”
In her own statement, Funke said she wished she could give each of her roommates “one last hug” and tell them how much she “loved them.”
“You’ve always told me that everything happens for a reason, but I find it very difficult to understand the reason for this,” Funke wrote to her murdered roommate Mogen.
Moscow police have not yet named a suspect or made any arrests.
Detectives have also not yet found a weapon, the department writes in a press release on Wednesday.
Autopsies determined that the four students had been stabbed to death, likely with a fixed-blade knife, and investigators checked at local stores to see if any military knives had been recently sold.
All four victims were friends and members of the university’s Greek system.
Xana Kernodle, 20, studied marketing. She was from Post Falls, Idaho, and joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority on campus. She lived in the rented house with the other two women who were stabbed, and she was in a relationship with Ethan Chapin, who was visiting the night of the murders.
Chapin, also 20, was from Mount Vernon, Washington and was a triplets. His brother and sister also attend UI, and both Chapin and his brother were members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were both 21 and friends growing up together in northern Idaho. Mogen worked with Kernodle at a local Greek restaurant in Moscow. She was also a member of Pi Beta Phi.
Goncalves was a senior general studies major, member of the Alpha Phi sorority, and planned to travel to Europe next year.
Police have released statements revealing the movements of the victims on the night of the murder, in a plea for any information from the public.
Goncalves and Mogen went to a local bar, stopped at a food truck, and then took a ride home to a private party at around 1:56 a.m., according to a police timeline of the night.
Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi home — just a short walk away — and returned to Kernodle’s home around 1:45 a.m., police said.
Two other housemates living in the home were also out that night, but returned home at 1 a.m., police said. They didn’t wake up until later that morning.
After waking up, they called friends to come to the house because they thought one of the victims had passed out on the second floor and was not waking up.
At 11:58 a.m., someone in the house called 911 from a roommate’s cell phone. Several people spoke to the control room before the police arrived.
Police found two of the victims on the second floor of the three-story house and two on the third floor. There was also a dog in the home, unharmed.
Autopsies showed that the four were probably all asleep when attacked, some had defensive wounds, and all had been stabbed multiple times. There was no sexual assault, police said.
Before Steve Goncalves said on Wednesday that his daughter Kaylee died in the same bed as Maddie, it was believed that’s where the students died – though it’s still unknown which bedroom on the top floor they were in
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the home in Moscow, Idaho. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a bedroom on the second floor while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke slept on the first floor
On Wednesday night, detectives revealed they were unsure if the slain University of Idaho students were the target of the killer, contradicting Chief James Fry who previously insisted they were.
“We think they’re being targeted because we’re taking all the circumstances we’re looking at in their entirety,” Fry had told reporters on Nov. 20, a week after the killings. The statement was recently echoed by Latah County Attorney Bill Thompson.
But the department has since filed a correction, stating: “Detectives do not currently know whether the residence or any occupants were specifically targeted, but are continuing to investigate.”
Three weeks after the grizzly killings, answers have been few and far between, despite the father of one of the victims saying the killer was “sloppy” and left behind a “mush” of evidence.
Anyone with information about the murders is urged to contact the Moscow Police Tip Line at 208-883-7180.