Idaho police decline to say why quadruple homicide was targeted: 'You're going to have to trust us on that'

MOSCOW, Idaho — The Moscow Police Department said in the immediate aftermath of a quadruple homicide near the University of Idaho that the murders were an "isolated, targeted incident," but are declining to say which of the four victims were targeted or why they believe that to be true.

"First and foremost, we have the integrity of the investigation to preserve, and we feel like that information is integral to us and how we conduct our investigation," Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier told reporters Wednesday, 10 days after the slayings.

Home with police tape and four vehicles in front
Police search a home in Moscow, Idaho, where four University of Idaho students were killed in a quadruple homicide.

Fox News correspondent Dan Springer pointed out that releasing information to the public about who was targeted and why may improve the quality of tips that authorities receive.

"We've told the public very clearly from the beginning that we believe it was a targeted attack," Lanier responded. "To be honest, you're going to have to trust us on that at this point, because we're not going to release why we think that."

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Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on Nov. 13 at a three-story residence just blocks from the University of Idaho campus.

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Former Miami-Dade County homicide detective Pat Diaz said the circumstances of the attack also lead him to believe that the victims were targeted.

"This was not random," Diaz told Fox News Digital. "I think they were targeted. I think they saw them out or they’ve seen them around."

Police have not identified a suspect or located a murder weapon, though they are looking for a "fixed-blade knife." All four victims were stabbed multiple times and some had defensive wounds.

"Everybody screams with a knife," Diaz said. "They’re gonna be screaming like there’s no tomorrow."

Police cordoned off a wide area behind the home on Monday, including a parking lot and forested area. Diaz said that that waiting eight days to expand the crime scene may have been a mistake, noting officers should be canvassing the entire area and using cell tower data to figure out who was at the home and when.

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Multiple individuals have been ruled out as suspects in the investigation, including Goncalves' ex-boyfriend, both surviving roommates, the person who drove Goncalves and Mogen home that night, and a person who was spotted on surveillance video standing behind the women at a food truck hours before they were murdered.

Investigators are seen searching a parking lot area behind the house in Moscow, Idaho, where four people were slain on Nov. 13.
Investigators are seen searching a parking lot area behind the house in Moscow, Idaho, where four people were slain on Nov. 13.
Memorial with stuffed bears and a photo in front of University of Idaho house
Flowers and a toy bear sit as a memorial at the house where four students were murdered in Moscow, Idaho.

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Moscow Police Chief James Frye urged patience as authorities continue combing through evidence.

"We still believe there's more information to be gathered which will continue creating a window through which we view this case," Frye told reporters. "We all want to understand why this happened and what drove someone to do this."