Although no suspect has been named, Moscow Police Chief James Fry is confident that the quadruple homicide will be solved. He attributes this optimism primarily to the efforts of the investigators to avoid jeopardizing the case.
In a homicide stabbing off the University of Idaho campus on November 13, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee GonCalves were killed. Fry is confident that they will track down the killer.
At seven in the morning, several briefings begin Fry’s day. More meetings come about as new information and suggestions are received throughout the day.
He asserted that every resource is being used to the fullest extent possible, that teams are working through the holidays, and that investigators are motivated by the desire to provide closure to the families of the victims.
“I have every faith that we will find a solution. We have heard rumors that this case has closed or that it hasn’t. People have been complaining that we don’t have the right personnel, “said Fry. “To ensure that we handle this case correctly, I’m telling you that we have the appropriate personnel, the appropriate resources, the appropriate individuals, and a wealth of experience. I’m extremely proud of this division. I adore this division. I adore this neighborhood, and together, we’ll find a solution.”
Fry recalled receiving the call from his captain that Sunday, when all four students were confirmed dead following a 911 call around noon, as having a “pit in your stomach.” According to a local coroner, the scene was bloody and the students appeared to be asleep when the attack occurred.
Fry hurried back to Moscow despite spending the weekend visiting a friend while away with his wife.
Before Fry was able to drive the two-and-a-half hours back to town, Moscow PD had requested assistance from Idaho State Police. Fry said there was already a plan in place.
I changed into work clothes as soon as I got back to Moscow, he said. According to Fry, “it all starts at the very beginning” of an investigation.
Responders to the scene could experience severe mental health changes as a result of witnessing such a tragedy. However, according to Fry, they are pushing ahead because the victims’ families and the pursuit of justice are the main concerns in this case.
You’re human, Fry said, “there are tears sometimes.” “We owe it to them,” said the group, “so we’ll keep pushing until we get all the answers.”
A small police force must overcome some obstacles when handling a case like this, but MPD is supported by the FBI and ISP, who provide assistance at every stage to ensure that there are adequate resources available. ISP previously reported that the Behavioral Analysis Unit has two investigators working in Moscow to help develop a profile of the murderer. This profile may not be made public unless there is a need for the police to get more tips.
In contrast to having to fly someone in, Fry said, “No matter where we are, we have someone we can talk to, someone to reach out to, and have them follow up on stuff for us.”
The most recent violent murder Fry dealt with was in 2015, he claimed. However, times have evolved.
As a case receives widespread media attention, more difficulties appear. Internet amateur sleuths come forward to offer their opinions, even if they don’t always provide a solid lead.
Robbie Johnson, a former Moscow Police spokesperson, said that “people look to the rumors and speculation, and then they generate tips or things that they want to report… that may not have even occurred or are not factual.”
Facebook pages have been created doing ex-boyfriends, and police have had to request that the public refrains from contacting anyone who may be related to the victims. The friends of the victims’ faces have started to appear all over some social media pages.
Twitter users have even started calling the Corner Club, the neighborhood bar where Mogen and Goncalves were last seen that evening, and requesting the last names of individuals they believe the establishment is “covering” for.
A Corner Club tweet read, “Love starting the day being called a piece of sh— because I won’t give some crazy lady a last name.” “She claims to have seen every TikTok and is fully informed. 208.883.7180 is the tip line if you believe you have information. You will only experience hardship here.”
It’s crucial for investigators to pick their words carefully when speaking to the media because this extensive investigation is taking place in such a small, close-knit community. Evidence could be compromised by a simple error.
There are many people who want to participate in online activities. We are the authorized information provider. We are disseminating accurate information, said Fry. I just want people to know we mean business.
There is no way to predict how long it will take to solve the case, but according to Fry, they will be involved at every stage.
Fry declared, “We’re going to keep moving. And when we return, justice will have been done.