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Violent murder of four university students was 'personal' according to autopsy results

Joe Harker

Published 
| Last updated 

Violent murder of four university students was 'personal' according to autopsy results

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Autopsies performed on four University of Idaho students suggest that their murders were 'personal'.

The four friends were tragically found stabbed to death in the home they shared near the university campus on Sunday 13 November.

The victims were 21-year-old Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, along with 20-year-old Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.

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The four students were 'butchered' and Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt confirmed earlier this week that the cause of death in each case was murder by stabbing.

She told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the murder weapon 'would have had to been a large knife' which investigators have not yet located.

Mabbutt said the killings appeared to be 'personal' given what they discovered in the autopsy, and said they may have found some 'defensive wounds' on the bodies of the victims, suggesting they had fought back against their attacker.

Madison Mogen and Kayla Goncalves were murdered on 13 November. Credit: Instagram/@maddiemogen
Madison Mogen and Kayla Goncalves were murdered on 13 November. Credit: Instagram/@maddiemogen
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Mabbutt said the site of the murders was a 'pretty traumatic scene' to investigate.

With the autopsies completed the bodies of the victims have been released back to their families, while University of Idaho staff and students have held a vigil in their memory.

According to CNN, the last time any of the victims were seen alive was at 1:41am local time on the Sunday (13 November) morning as Mogen and Goncalves ordered food from a truck which was live streaming on Twitch.

It was not until the following afternoon that the four bodies were found, leaving the police with a bloody crime scene, a suspect still at large, and the area's first recorded murders since 2015.

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Officers have not ruled anyone out of the investigation, though police have not declared that they have a clear suspect in the case.

Autopsies of the four students determined that their deaths were murders which seemed 'personal'. Credit: CBS
Autopsies of the four students determined that their deaths were murders which seemed 'personal'. Credit: CBS

There are two surviving roommates who were also living in the student house with the victims, with investigators labelling them 'potentially the key to this whole thing'.

Police are hoping that the victims' friends will be able to help them piece together what happened, with department chief James Fry warning locals that they could be at risk even if it is believed that the attacks were targeted.

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He said: "We cannot say there’s no threat to the community, and as we have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times."

Investigations to locate a suspect and determine who murdered the four students are ongoing.

Topics: News, US News, Crime

Joe Harker
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