U of I schedules demolition of off-campus murder scene

After some delays — and pushback from the victims’ families — the University of Idaho has set a date for tearing down the scene of a gruesome quadruple homicide.

The off-campus home on King Road will be demolished on Dec. 28, the U of I said in a news release Thursday.

“While we appreciate the emotional connection some family members of the victims may have to this house, it is time for its removal and to allow the collective healing of our community to continue,” President C. Scott Green said in the news release.

Four U of I 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, 2022.

The house was donated to the U of I in February, and university officials have long planned to tear down the building. Some family members of the victims have urged the U of I to keep the building intact until the first-degree murder case against former Washington State University student Bryan Kohberger goes to trial. No trial date has been set. (More coverage on the case from the Idaho Statesman.)

While the U of I set a date for the demolition Thursday, Kohberger’s defense team was combing the crime scene.

The defense team is taking photographs and measurements at the house, and might take drone footage, the U of I said Thursday. This work could continue into Friday.

U of I officials had said they planned to demolish the house some time after fall semester, which ends this week.

“The decision to tear down the house during winter break was made as an attempt to decrease further impact on the students who live in that area,” the U of I said in its news release.

It also means the demolition is scheduled to take place nearly a year to the day after Kohberger’s Dec. 30, 2022 arrest in Pennsylvania.


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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