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Suspect still not identified two weeks after University of Idaho students stabbed to death: "Sense of fear"

Idaho student murder investigation continues
Police search for identity of suspect or suspects behind murder of four college students in Idaho 01:52

Two weeks after four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their rooms, police reported that tips and 911 calls continue to pour in — but a suspect has still not been identified.

The Moscow Police Department said Sunday they had received 78 calls for "unusual circumstances" and 36 requests that police perform a welfare check on loved ones – up from the 70 and 18, respectively, they received during the month of October. They added that community members have uploaded nearly 500 digital media submissions to the FBI link seeking tips in the case.

"We understand there is a sense of fear within our community," police said.

The four students, three women and a man, were found dead on Nov. 13 in a rental house near campus. A county coroner said they were likely asleep when they were attacked.

The victims were housemates Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; and Kernodle's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.

Many University of Idaho students are returning to campus after fall break as police continue to search for a suspect, CBS affiliate KREM-TV reported.

"It's been a little bit confusing. It's taken everyone by surprise," student Karl Surmanis told the station. "Everyone is just finding ways to get through it. For me it's getting through my classes, but I think everyone is trying to just push through."

Former FBI agent discusses key evidence in University of Idaho student killings 07:37

Local police and federal agents continue to follow leads, but said they have ruled out any connection to two other stabbings in the Pacific Northwest.

"There have been numerous media inquiries about a 1999 double stabbing in Pullman, Washington, and the 2021 double stabbing (with one death) in Salem, Oregon," Moscow police said Friday in a press release. "While these cases share similarities with the King Street homicides, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the cases are related."

Police warned against speculation that has stoked community fears and spread false facts. As of Friday, 113 pieces of physical evidence have been collected and sent to the Idaho State Police crime lab for processing and analysis, the press release said.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has directed up to $1 million in state emergency funds for the ongoing investigation, police said.

The University of Idaho is hosting candlelight vigils on November 30 at 5 p.m. to honor the memory of the four students. One will be held on the Moscow campus and another at the University of Boise.

Boise State University students and people who knew the University of Idaho students who were killed in Moscow, Idaho, pay tribute at a vigil on Nov. 17, 2022, at BSU.  Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
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