U of I increases on-campus security

The Moscow Police Department released a timeline showing the four victims’ known whereabouts Saturday and Sunday.

The University of Idaho is ramping up security on campus as the investigation continues into the slayings of four students Sunday.

But the enhanced security is not a result of a “heightened threat,” President C. Scott Green said Thursday.

“You will see an increased security presence through the weekend,” Green said in a memo to the U of I community. “This is an intentional increase in response to your concerns and not a reflection of any new information or heightened threat communicated by (the Moscow Police Department).”

In other news, the University of Idaho announced a date for a candlelight vigil honoring the four homicide victims.

The move comes a day after U of I and law enforcement officials held their first news conference since four students were found dead in an off-campus house. The victims — Ethan Chapin, 20, a freshman from Mount Vernon, Wash.; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, a senior from Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, a junior from Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, a senior from Coeur d’Alene — were stabbed to death, according to a Latah County coroner’s report released Thursday.

Police maintain that they believe the stabbings were a targeted attack. But on Wednesday, Moscow police chief James Fry walked back initial remarks downplaying a risk of another attack. “We cannot say there is no threat to the community.”

Here, in full, is Green’s memo:

“It has been four days since the tragic deaths of four outstanding Vandals. We are all still working though our grief and a range of emotions. Compounding this is the frustration and concern that no one has been arrested for these crimes. We continue to push for justice.  

“The Moscow Police Department maintains that this appears to be a targeted attack. Because the suspect remains at large, we recommend increased vigilance and encourage anyone with any information to contact Moscow Police at 208-882-2677. You will see an increased security presence through the weekend. This is an intentional increase in response to your concerns and not a reflection of any new information or heightened threat communicated by MPD. SafeWalk services remain available by calling 208-885-7233. 

“We need to remain flexible this week and grant our students and colleagues room to process these unprecedented events in their own ways. Students, you are encouraged to do what is right for you. Whether this is going home early or staying in class, you have our support.  

“Counseling services remain available for students at the Counseling and Testing Center or by calling 208-885-6713. You will need to push option three after-hours and on weekends.  

“Watch your email over the break for updates concerning what we learn about the investigation and plans for after the break. 

“The outreach, kind words and care are conspicuous and broadly displayed across our community and the state. I am proud and grateful for your thoughtful concern for one another over the past few days. We need to be prepared for increased support of one another in the days and weeks ahead. We are a Vandal Family, and that has never been more evident than now.” 

More reading: Click here for additional Idaho EdNews coverage of the slayings.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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