Police look into possibility of stalker, discuss student safety

University of Idaho will hold vigil on Nov. 30 for homicide victims.



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.

FRANKIE BEER, Evergreen news editor

It has been 10 days since four University of Idaho students were murdered, but the Moscow Police Department was not able to provide new information during a press conference Wednesday.

This is such a tragic circumstance. In law enforcement, we believe we owe this to the surviving families, said Idaho State Police Col. Kendrick Wills. We’re not going to sacrifice speed over quality.”

Investigators have looked into hundreds of pieces of information regarding the possibility of Kaylee Goncalves having a stalker, but they have not verified the claims or identified a stalker, said Moscow PD Cpt. Roger Lanier. Through police interviews, they heard Goncalves made comments about a stalker.

We have followed up, looking at specific time frames and specific areas of town, Lanier said. So far, we have not been able to corroborate it, but we’re not done looking into that.

Moscow PD also confirmed the weapon used to attack the roommates is thought to be a fixed-blade knife, he said. The police also said they believe a murder-suicide did not occur.

Lanier said the police will not release which roommate was targeted in the attack or a profile of the suspect because it may put the investigation in jeopardy. It may also flood the department with information that is not relevant.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has also promised around $1 million to help continue the investigation, said Deputy City Supervisor Tyler Palmer.

Despite WSU’s Apple Cup weekend nearly ten miles across the border, the Idaho State Police will not increase security, Willis said.

However, the WSU Police Department and the Pullman Police Department have increased patrols near campus. The WSU Police Cadet Corps will also offer free on-foot escort service to and from campus most evenings, according to a press release from WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton. Students should call 509-432-2328 for more details.

Students can also ask bus drivers to drop them off at specific places along their bus route, but bus drivers must pick up students on the previously established route, according to the press release.

Police presence on University of Idaho campus will be heavy after fall break, said Moscow PD Chief James Fry.

Lanier said students and community members should remain vigilant, travel in pairs and let others know of their whereabouts.

Maybe we should have always been doing that. In some ways, this took our innocence. …  There’s a lot of things we [didn’t do] before, but we need to start doing now,” he said. 

At 5 p.m. on Nov. 30, UI will hold a vigil to honor the memories of Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen, according to the UI website. The location is yet to be determined due to weather, but the vigil will be live streamed, said Blaine Eckles, UI dean of students. The families of the homicide victims have been invited.