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Cops Address Slain Idaho Student’s Rumored Stalker

TheDailyBeast
TheDailyBeast
 2022-12-05
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Idaho Statesman/Getty Images

Cops in Moscow, Idaho, said Monday that slain University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves ’ supposed comments about a potential stalker may have stemmed from a one-off incident at a local business, and that the two men involved are not suspects in her murder.

It’s the latest detail to emerge from the seemingly stalled investigation, which has now gone on for over three weeks as detectives continue to search for a suspect, person of interest, or the knife used in the slayings.

Instead of press conferences, Moscow police have regularly provided Facebook updates to rule out a growing list of people who have been linked to Goncalves and the other murdered students: Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kernodle.

One of the rumors spreading online was that Goncalves had recently spoken to friends about a stalking incident in Moscow before her death.

Monday’s update from cops, who are being assisted by federal and state investigators, said that Goncalves’ comments may have stemmed from an incident in mid-October where the 21-year-old was followed by two men when she left a local business.

Cops say the men involved have been cleared in the slaying, adding that they told detectives they were at the business to “meet women.”

“This was an isolated incident and not an ongoing pattern of stalking,” cops said in a press release. Authorities said they’re still investigating the possibility of Goncalves having a stalker.

The two men, who were not named by police, join a growing number of people close to the slain friend group who aren’t considered suspects, which includes former boyfriends and other acquaintances who were with the group on their final night alive.

Police acknowledged Monday that rumors are beginning to take over the small college town as updates become smaller by the day. In a statement, they assured the public that they know more than they’re willing to release.

“There is speculation, without factual backing, stoking community fears and spreading false information,” police’s statement said. “...With active criminal investigations, law enforcement hasn't released additional facts to the family or the public.”

Moscow police said they’ve fielded more than 2,645 emailed tips, 2,770 phone tips, and 1,084 digital media submissions. Despite the shockingly high number, cops are encouraging anyone with the slightest bit of information to call it in.

Police specified they’re looking for photos, videos, and any information about a Sigma Chi frat party that Chapin and Kernodle attended during their final night alive. Cops hope this info will allow them to piece together what the couple were doing and who they were with between 9 p.m. and 1:45 a.m. just before their slaying.

“Any interactions, contacts, direction and method of travel, or anything abnormal could add context to what occurred,” cops said in a statement.

Despite repeated flip-flopping by authorities about a potential motive behind the attack, cops have remained firm this week that it’s possible one of the friends or the six-bedroom house they shared may have been “targeted.”

While updates from cops roll in slowly, family members of the slain students have begun sharing their own theories about the quadruple homicide.

Jeffrey Kernodle said last month that he believes his daughter, Xana, fought her attacker until the very end—evidenced by the defensive wounds noted on an autopsy report shared with the family.

Steve Goncalves, Kaylee’s father, said Saturday that his daughter and Mogen, who were lifelong best friends, were killed differently than Kernodle and Chapin.

“I’ll cut to the chase—their means of death don’t match,” Steve told Fox News . “...Their points of damage don’t match.”

Kaylee’s parents also told NewsNation on Friday that detectives were lagging in their updates to the victims’ families. The grieving couple criticized police, saying they’ve moved too quickly to rule out some potential suspects, adding that they’ve refused to share some alibis.

“I just feel like there’s been a couple individuals that were cleared very fast that maybe should not have been,” said Kristi Goncalves, Kaylee’s mother.

The official cause of death for each of the four students was deemed to be stabbing from a large knife, authorities said. But Goncalves’ father was adamant that something in the investigation is not adding up—a comment cops are yet to address.

“I sent my daughter to college and she came back in a box,” he said. “I can speak on that.”

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