Idaho Murders Update as 50 Search Warrants Obtained in Investigation

Latah County prosecutor Bill Thompson said that his office had obtained more than 50 search warrants for the investigation into the brutal murders of four University of Idaho college students.

Speaking to the local newspaper the Moscow-Pullman Daily NewsThompson said the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office is currently providing legal advice to law enforcement investigating the quadruple murder and working with investigators “as a team.”

According to Thompson, more than 50 search warrants have already been obtained in the ongoing investigation.

The prosecutor didn’t share any more details on the nature of the search warrants—whether they were for in-person searches or for requesting sensitive data from social media accounts, for example—as he stressed the importance of compromise between providing information to the public and not negatively impacting the case.

Slain Idaho students crime scene
Four University of Idaho students were found dead Nov. 13 at this house on King Road in Moscow, Idaho. The Latah County prosecutor said it had obtained more than 50 search warrants for its investigation of the murders.
Angela Palermo/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service/Getty

Thompson said that were concerned about trying to find an unbiased jury—once a suspect or suspects are brought to trial—considering the Moscow community is so small, only 25,000 residents and students.

“There’s always a concern, particularly in smaller communities like ours, that we need to be responsible with what information is made available to the public so we don’t risk tainting the prospective jury pool,” Thompson told the newspaper

“Assuming that we’re able to file a case and it goes to trial, we want to be able to pick an unbiased jury from within the community.”

Newsweek has contacted the Moscow Police Department for comment.

Investigations into the murders of students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle have entered their fourth week without police identifying a suspect.

Moscow police recently identified its first publicly revealed lead in the investigation, saying that they are looking to talk to the occupant of a 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra without a license plate that was spotted in the immediate area of ​​the King Street residence in the early hours of November 13.

The case has reached national media attention and has become the subject of speculation and rumors online.

The four students were found in the rental home where three of them—Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle— lived, while Chapin bodies was visiting Kernodle on November 13. The Latah County coroner concluded that they were likely stabbed to death while they were asleep .

“I don’t know that we’ve ever seen this degree of media attention, including the national media attention, but I understand this is a very serious case,” Thompson told Daily News. “It’s very tragic and the public wants to know as much as they can about what’s going on.”

Police said investigators would continue to release limited details to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

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