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Some of the murdered University of Idaho students were stabbed in their beds, coroner says

Some of the murdered University of Idaho students were stabbed in their beds, coroner says
Some of the murdered University of Idaho students were stabbed in their beds, coroner says

Of the four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death in a rental house last Sunday, some were killed in their beds, the Latah County coroner told CBS News Friday.

Coroner Cathy Mabbutt would not provide any further details. She noted, however, that earlier media reports stating all four victims had been murdered in their beds were not accurate. 

On Thursday, Mabbutt told CBS News the students were killed with a “larger knife,” expanding on the autopsy reports which concluded the four victims were stabbed to death.

According to Moscow police, the coroner said all four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault, police said.

The killings have shaken Moscow, an Idaho Panhandle town of 25,000 residents that last saw a homicide about five years ago. The leafy college town is about 80 miles south of Spokane, Washington.

Officers have not identified a suspect or found a weapon, Moscow Police Chief James Fry has said.

All four victims were members of fraternities and sororities: seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington. The women were roommates. The bodies were found around noon Sunday.

Moscow police said Friday that, while initial reports had indicated Chapin lived at the residence, he was just visiting at the time of his death. 

Police have said evidence found at the scene leads them to believe that the students were targeted, though they haven’t given details. Investigators say nothing appears to have been stolen from the victims or the home.

After initially saying there was no ongoing danger, police walked that back on Wednesday. 

“We cannot say that there is no threat to the community,” Fry said. “We still believe it’s a targeted attack. But the reality is there still is a person out there who committed four very horrible, horrible crimes.”

Two other people were found in the sprawling house, unharmed. Fry declined to say whether they were able to provide an account of the killings, or to specify who called 911. There was no sign of forced entry at the home, according to the chief, and a door was found open by the first police officers to arrive.

At this point, investigators do not believe the two surviving roommates were involved in the killings, police said.

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