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Idaho police backtrack on whether fatal stabbings of college students were targeted

Four Dead University of Idaho
Posted at 8:41 AM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 11:18:59-05

MOSCOW, Idaho - Authorities in Idaho are backtracking on a key piece of information in the investigation of four college students who were murdered.

The Moscow Police Department now says they don't know whether any of the University of Idaho victims were specifically targeted.

"Conflicting information has been released over the past 24 hours," the Moscow Police Department said in a news release.

Moscow police cited earlier statements from the Latah County Prosecutor's Office suggesting that "the suspect(s) specifically looked at" the residence where all four students were stabbed to death in mid-November, "and that one or more of the occupants were undoubtedly targeted."

"We have spoken with the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office and identified this was a miscommunication," police said in the press release. "Detectives do not currently know if the residence or any occupants were specifically targeted but continue to investigate."

Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death at an off-campus house on Nov. 13. Police had been saying they believed the incident was isolated and "targeted" since Nov. 15, CNN reported.

Investigators have said the victims were all stabbed multiple times in their sleep. None of them were sexually assaulted, police stated.

A vigil was held for the victims Wednesday night.

"I want to remind you that is the most important message we have for you and your families, is to make sure you spend as much time as possible with those people because time is precious and it's something you can't get back," said Ethan's mother, Stacy Chapin.