Police say surviving roommates were not only ones alive at house

Surviving roommates, man at Grub Truck, private driver are cleared from investigation

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Moscow Police Operations Captain Roger Lanier addresses the media during a press conference regarding the homicides of four University of Idaho students, Nov. 20, in Moscow, Idaho.

PUNEET BSANTI

Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include information about the roommates’ friends released after the press conference

The surviving roommates of the four Moscow homicide victims were not the only ones at their house when an initial 911 call was placed, police revealed at Sunday’s press conference. 

Before the 911 call was placed on Nov.13 at 11:58 a.m., some friends arrived that day, said Moscow Police Chief James Fry. Fry was not sure how many friends were there. 

The surviving roommates “summoned” the friends to their house, believing one of the victims on the second floor was passed out and not waking up, according to a Moscow Police Department news release

The call was made from one of the surviving roommates’ phones, however, Fry could not reveal who the specific caller was. Multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher before a Moscow Police officer arrived at the location, according to the news release. 

Fry said the caller is not the killer. 

Police found two victims on the second floor and two on the third floor, and from the findings of the autopsy, it is likely they were all asleep during the attacks, said Operations Capt. Roger Lanier. Some of the victims had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. 

Fry said he does not know why the two roommates did not wake up at the time of the attacks.

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Moscow Police Chief James Fry answers questions during a press conference regarding the homicides of four University of Idaho students, Nov. 20, in Moscow, Idaho.

Lanier also addressed some misinformation and speculation during the press conference. He said the two surviving roommates, the man seen at Grub Truck wearing a white hoodie and a private party who provided Goncalves and Mogen with a ride home are not suspects in the case. 

There are no suspects in custody and the weapon has not been located. Lanier said detectives seized the contents of three dumpsters on King Road and searched them, however no evidence of note was discovered. 

He said that investigators are aware that multiple phone calls were made to a male subject from Goncalves and Mogen. 

Fry said they do not believe the male subject is a person of interest.

He said that in terms of the physical location of the suspect, he cannot say if the person is in Moscow or another community. 

“We’re utilizing every resource we can to make that location of that individual. Part of that is the safety of our community is paramount, and that’s why we brought in the resource we brought in to keep our community as safe as we can,” he said. 

Detectives are seeking all outside surveillance video taken from 3-6 a.m. on Nov. 13 from businesses and residences within this geographical area

The Moscow Police Department is utilizing the assistance from the Idaho State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Latah County Sheriff’s Office. Fry said police conducted 90 interviews and law enforcement received 646 tips.

Detectives are seeking all outside surveillance video taken from 3-6 a.m. on Nov. 13 from businesses and residences within the geographical area stretching from West Taylor Avenue, West Palouse River Drive, Highway 95 south to the 2700 block of Highway 95 South — and the UI Arboretum & Botanical Garden, according to a Moscow PD Facebook post

University of Idaho President Scott Green said the university’s focus is on students and meeting their every need. UI recognizes some students do not feel safe and want to continue school remotely until the murderer is in custody.

“We’re also hearing that some students want to be back on campus and in Moscow because they gain comfort from the structure classes have been with their friends and professors,” he said. “All reactions and feelings are valid and we all process these tragedies differently.” 

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Moscow Police Chief James Fry leaves a press conference regarding the homicides of four University of Idaho students, Nov. 20, in Moscow, Idaho. Reporters and journalists continued to ask questions as Fry left.

Green said they are asking instructors to prepare instruction for students who want to continue their studies remotely or in-person.

He said the Idaho State Police presence on campus benefits student security.

The press conference concluded with some members of the media shouting questions they wanted to be answered as investigators left.