Moscow police refuse to say why they think four murdered University of Idaho students were targeted: ‘You’re going to have to trust us’

Idaho police are refusing to provide more details as to why they think the murder of four University of Idaho students was a “targeted” killing.

“You’re going to have to trust on that at this point because we are not going to release why we think that,” Moscow Police Department captain Roger Lanier said during a press conference on Wednesday.

The murders took place in the early morning hours of 13 November.

Local police still have not named a suspect or located the murder weapon, despite assistance from the Idaho State Police and federal officials.

Officials defended their work on the investigation thus far, telling the community it took time to process the sprawling crime scene, an off-campus rental home shared by victims Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kernodle, where the fourth victim, Ethan Chapin, was visiting.

“We understand you want answers. We want answers too. But these take time,” state police colonel Kedrick Willis said during the press conference.

He added that police have gone through 103 pieces of evidence, over 4,000 photographs, 1,000 tips, and 150 interviews looking for evidence.

The Idaho governor’s office has set aside $1m for expenses in the investigation, Colonel Willis said.

Police also said they’re continuing to investigate whether Goncalves may have had a stalker, though they say so far they haven’t found any clues that she did.

“We obtained information through some of our interviews that Kaylee had made some comments about having a stalker, so that’s where that came from,” Captain Lanier said on Wednesday. “So far we have not been able to corroborate that, but we are not done looking at that piece of information.”

Community members in this sleepy college town have been shaken by the violence.

Moscow deputy city supervisor Tyler Palmer choked up on the podium on Wednesday as he spoke about the killings.

“Moscow is my home and I know we won’t be defined by tragedy but how we respond to it,” he said.

“We will relentlessly pursue justice on their behalf,” he continued.

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