‘Crime Of Passion:’ Cops Identify Four University of Idaho Students Found Dead in Home

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Instagram/The Daily Beast

Instagram/The Daily Beast

The four University of Idaho students allegedly slain in a home just off campus on Sunday were identified Monday as detectives continue to search for their killer.

Police identified the victims are Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21.

Cops have remained tight-lipped about what happened Sunday afternoon, declining to say how the four students were killed or what potential motive their killer may have had.

Art Bettge, the mayor of Moscow, Idaho, told The New York Times that the killings were a “crime of passion” but declined to divulge further details.

“With a crime of this magnitude, it’s very difficult to work through,” he told the paper.

Tributes to the slain students began Monday afternoon. Hunter Chapin, a fellow Idaho student and brother of Ethan Chapin, posted a photo of the two with the caption: “My brother and my best friend❤️.”

Social media for the slain Chapin said he was in the fraternity Sigma Chi. Police said he was a native of Conway, Washington.

The Instagram page for GonCalves posted a series of photos on Sunday that suggested the four victims were all friends—with her last post showing all four smiling together. With each friend tagged, the caption read: “One lucky girl to be surrounded by these ppl everyday 🤍.”

Social media pages for GonCalves, Mogen, and Kernodle show that they were members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Police said GonCalves was from Rathdrum, Idaho; Mogen from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Kernodle from Avondale, Arizona.

A statement emailed to The Daily Beast from police in Moscow, Idaho, conceded that “details are still limited in this investigation.” An arrest hasn’t been made and police have not publicly identified a suspect.

Officers discovered the students’ bodies early Sunday afternoon after receiving a call about someone being unconscious. Cops responded to the the 6-bedroom residence—less than a mile south of the university in Moscow, Idaho—and found the lifeless bodies of Chapin, Mogen, Kernodle, and GonCalves inside.

Friends of the slain group, reached via Instagram and Facebook, declined interview requests by The Daily Beast.

The university briefly went into lockdown, followed by an all-clear on Sunday evening. The school announced that four students had died in an apparent homicide, and that classes would be cancelled on Monday.

Students at the university of 12,000 reeled about the deaths and that the alleged killer was still on the run.

Moscow police said Monday, however, that they don’t believe there is an ongoing risk to students. Classes are slated to return on Tuesday.

The students’ slaying comes after the University of Virginia issued shelter-in-place orders to its students and staff after a former football player killed three people and wounded two others in a mass shooting on the school’s main campus on Sunday night.

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