The mayor of the tiny Idaho hamlet where the bodies of four college students were discovered claimed the deaths might have been caused by “nearly any scenario.”
The killings of Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, have been attributed by Moscow’s mayor to either a property crime “gone awry” or a “act of passion.”
The city has announced that the bodies of the students were found in an off-campus apartment on Sunday just before noon, when police responded to a report of an unconscious person.
The city said in a statement that they were murder victims, but offered no more information and said no one had been arrested in connection with the crimes.
Monday, a police department spokeswoman did not reply to inquiries for comment.
Bettge said that it was difficult to determine a motive without identifying a suspect or determining whether or not any property was stolen.
An probe requires patience, he remarked, since else it would be rushed.
This tragedy serves as a sad reminder that senseless acts of violence may occur anywhere, at any time, and we are not immune to such occurrences here in our own town,” Bettge said in a supplementary statement released on Monday.
“Today, we mourn the dead and the loved ones they left behind,” he added.
Moscow, a small rural community of around 25,000 people located just east of the Washington State border, “is, except for recent occurrences, tranquil and crime-free,” Bettge added.
President Scott Green of the University of Idaho sent a note to students on Monday expressing his and his wife’s “heartbreak” at the deaths.
The message said that Chapin, a student from Mount Vernon, Washington, was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and was studying leisure, sport, and tourist management.
Junior marketing major and Pi Beta Phi sister Kernodle from Post Falls, Idaho.
Mogen, a senior marketing student from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was also a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
And Goncalves, a senior from Rathdrum, Idaho who belonged to the Alpha Phi sorority and was studying general studies.
However, it remained unclear how some of the kids were related to one another. “One fortunate lady to be around by these ppl daily,” Goncalves said in an Instagram post on Saturday beside a photo of herself and many pals, among them Madison Mogen.
On Instagram on October 29th, Kernodle sent a birthday message to Chapin, writing, “Life is so much better having you in it.”