Police are refusing to say how four university students died after their bodies were discovered on Sunday afternoon however one official has reportedly described their deaths as a “crime of passion".
Emergency services in the US were called to an off-campus home near the University of Idaho just before midday following reports of an “unconscious individual,” as reported by the New York Times. Inside they found that four people had died. They’ve since been identified as Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
Following the devastating discovery, the University warned students to “stay away from the area and shelter in place,” tweeting that the “suspect is not known at this time.” Less than an hour later the warning was lifted, with the University tweeting that police didn’t believe “there was an active threat.” It did urge students to “remain vigilant".
Deaths being treated as a homicide
Art Bettge, the Mayor of Moscow in Idaho, said authorities are still investigating what had happened but the case was being treated as a homicide. “With a crime of this magnitude, it’s very difficult to work through,” he said, as reported by the New York Times. "The overall assessment is that it's a crime of passion. This tragedy serves as a sobering reminder that senseless acts of violence can occur anywhere, at any time, and we are not immune from such events here in our community.”
While autopsies will be carried out on Wednesday, the Latah County Coroner, Cathay Mabbutt, said none of the victims are suspected of carrying out the attack. No suspects have been taken into custody, as reported by CNN, but police are urging anyone with information about the case to get in contact.
The University cancelled all classes on Monday and has offered students support through its counselling centre. “An event of this magnitude can understandingly have significant impacts on those left behind,” the University said in a post on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our students as the Vandal [a reference to the school’s mascot] Family mourns their loss.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.