By REBECCA BOONE

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Four University of Idaho students found dead in an off-campus home were targeted, and the killer or killers used a knife or other “edged weapon” in the attack, police said Tuesday.

The Moscow Police Department made the announcement in a news release, adding that investigators were working to establish a timeline to recreate the victims’ activities before they were found dead Sunday. Police said the killings likely occurred in the early morning hours, and the bodies were found around noon.

The students’ deaths were considered to be “an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large,” according to police, who earlier said evidence from the scene led them to believe there was no broader risk. Police provided no information about that evidence or why they believe the victims were targeted.

Autopsies expected to be completed later this week could provide more information about how the victims were killed.

Investigators were “following all leads and identifying persons of interest” in the case, the news release said. Monday night, police Captain Anthony Dahlinger told the Idaho Statesman that officers were searching for a suspect.

Police discovered the students’ bodies Sunday as they responded to a report of an unconscious person at a home steps away from the campus. The victims were identified as Ethan Chapin, a 20-year-old from Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, a 21-year-old from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, from Rathdrum, Idaho.

The university canceled classes on Monday, and said additional security staffers were available to walk students across campus if needed during the remainder of the week.

Still, the initial lack of information about the cause of the deaths — and the fact that police have said there is no one in custody — prompted many students to leave campus early, days before the Thanksgiving break was scheduled to begin.

A vigil for the slain students originally scheduled for Wednesday evening has been postponed until after Thanksgiving break, University of Idaho spokesman Kyle Pfannenstiel said in an email Tuesday.

In an earlier memo, University of Idaho President Scott Green urged university employees to be empathetic and flexible, and work with students who decided to leave classes to spend time with their families.

“Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought to this world or ease the depth of suffering we feel at their passing under these tragic circumstances,” Green …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Police: Knife used in deadly attack targeting Idaho students

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