Some of slain University of Idaho students stabbed in their beds, coroner says

Of the four University of Idaho students who were was found stabbed to death in a rented house Last Sunday, some were killed in their beds, the Latah County Coroner told CBS News on Friday.

Coroner Cathy Mabbutt did not elaborate. He noted, however, that earlier media reports that all four victims had been murdered in their beds were not accurate.

On Thursday, Mabbutt told CBS News that the students were he was killed with a “bigger knife,” expanding on autopsy reports that concluded the four victims were stabbed to death.

According to Moscow police, the medical examiner said all four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault, police said.

The killings shocked Moscow, an Idaho Panhandle city of 25,000 that last experienced a homicide about five years ago. The leafy college town is about 80 miles south of Spokane, Washington.

Officers have not identified a suspect or found a weapon, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said.

All four victims were members of sororities and sororities: seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington. The women were roommates. The bodies were found around noon on Sunday.

Moscow police said Friday that while initial reports indicated Chapin lived at the residence, he was just visiting at the time of his death.

Police said evidence found at the scene led them to believe the students were targeted, although they have not released details. Investigators say nothing appears to have been stolen from the victims or the home.

After initially saying there was no danger, police came back on Wednesday.

“We can’t say there’s no threat to the community,” Fry said. “We still believe it’s a targeted attack. But the reality is there’s still one person out there who committed four very horrific, horrific crimes.”

Two other people were found in the sprawling home, unharmed. Fry declined to say whether they were able to provide an account of the killings or clarify who called 911. There was no sign of forced entry to the home, according to the chief, and a door was found open by the first officers to arrive.

At this point, investigators do not believe the two surviving roommates are involved in the murders, police said.

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