While no one was in custody Tuesday morning, police insisted that there was no threat to the community. Investigators were trying to establish a timeline for the students’ whereabouts Friday evening and early Saturday morning, “following all leads and identifying persons of interest,” police said.
The killings left the campus community stunned and grieving — and many expressed fear for their safety. On the university’s Facebook page, parents expressed worry about their children, begged officials to release more information or suggested that the school be closed.
With Thanksgiving break starting next week, some parents discussed having their children come home for break early. University President C. Scott Green said in a statement Monday that the school had asked faculty and staff to “work with our students who desire to return home to spend time with their families.”
Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash.; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Ariz.; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, were found dead around noon Sunday when police responded to a call about an unconscious person at a home just south of the university.
People on the campus, about 70 miles southeast of Spokane, Wash., were asked to shelter in place for about 40 minutes Sunday afternoon as police investigated. Classes were canceled Monday.
Moscow Mayor Art Bettge on Monday called the killings “senseless acts of violence” and said only limited information could be shared without compromising the investigation.
“It is impossible to understand the senselessness of events like this, and we all are seeking answers that are not yet available,” he said in a statement.
Condolences poured out on social media profiles for the students, who were often photographed together.
“You deserve justice, peace, and power,” one person wrote on an Instagram profile for Mogen. “I hope your loved ones, friends, and community can receive the same.”