U of I puts demolition of murder scene on hold

The University of Idaho is delaying the demolition of the off-campus house where four students were murdered last fall.

The house will now remain standing until October.

The delay comes as some of the victims’ family members have said the house should remain standing until suspect Bryan Kohberger is tried on four counts of first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 2.

The Idaho Statesman reported last week on the calls to delay the demolition. An attorney for the family of one of the victims told the Statesman the house has considerable evidentiary value and should remain intact through the trial.

“We know that every action and decision around this horrific incident is painful and invokes emotions. That is why every decision we have made this far is with the families of the victims and our students in mind,” U of I President C. Scott Green said in a news release Wednesday. “While we look forward to removing this grim reminder of this tragedy, we feel holding until October is the right thing to do.”

The four students — Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene — were stabbed to death in the house on Nov. 13. Kohberger was arrested on Dec. 30, and the owner of the off-campus house donated the property to the U of I in late February.

Earlier this month, crews began work at the house to remove personal items, for return to the families. Crews are working on lead and asbestos abatement to prepare the house for demolition.

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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