The blood-soaked crime scene where four University of Idaho students were brutally murdered more than a week ago is a “huge challenge” for investigators, an expert told Fox News Digital.
“From a blood evidence standpoint, it’s a deeply bloody scene,” said Joseph Morgan, a distinguished scholar of applied forensics at Jacksonville State University. “When you go through the blood evidence, when you go to DNA typing, it’s going to be a very complicated case. It’s a big challenge.”
Ethan Chapin, 20, Zana Kurnodel, 20, Madison Maughan, 21, and Kelly Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death between 3 and 4 a.m. on Nov. 13 in a rented house near the campus in Moscow, Idaho. given.
Police believe the victims, who were found on the second and third floors, were ambushed while sleeping.
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The Moscow Police Department has yet to identify a suspect in the horrific crime or determine whether there was more than one attacker.
According to Latah County Coroner Kathy Mabbitt, each student was stabbed multiple times in the chest area, possibly with the same weapon, and at least one victim suffered defensive injuries.
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Joseph Giaccolone, an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD sergeant, said that in stabbings, the perpetrators often injure themselves.
“If you’re stabbing and you hit the bone, the knife recoils, and you cut your hand,” he said.
Morgan added that it can be very difficult to isolate a killer’s DNA sample if he leaves someone behind.
“If we believe it’s a single killer with a single weapon, then the killer is moving from one body to another, and you’d have what’s called blood mixing,” Morgan said. said “Here’s the rub. If the blood is mixed together, it’s hard to distinguish the individual samples.”
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Investigators contacted businesses to see if anyone had recently sold a fixed-blade knife. A store manager told the Idaho Statesman that police specifically asked him about the bar-style knife.
Morgan was surprised by this detail. “It’s a combat knife, a blade, with one handle,” he said. “It’s a short blade, not as strong as other survival knives.”
He speculated that investigators could zero in on this type of knife because it had a blade, which would have left scars around the knife wounds after the victims were violently attacked.
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Both Morgan and Giaculone stressed that the investigation is in its early stages, and that their analysis of the crime scene is speculative.
Goncalves’ parents told Fox News that sifting through the evidence based on information received from police will be a lengthy process.
“It wasn’t like an obvious crime. This person was sloppy,” said Steve Goncalves, the father of the slain student. “There’s a mess. And they’re going to have to go through that, and it’s going to take a long time. That’s why they reached out to other facilities to help them with that lab work.”
Retired FBI agent Jim Clemente, who now works as a producer on CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” said another major obstacle for investigators was the mass exodus of students for Thanksgiving break. Is. Many people in the community also fled fearing that the killer would escape.
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“This exodus will mask the criminal leaving the city,” he said. “It could also mean that witnesses who saw something relevant are gone too.”
Clemente noted that the town of 25,000, which had not recorded a single homicide in the seven years before the stabbings, would have fewer surveillance cameras than a larger city.
As for the killer’s attributes, Clemente said he doesn’t think the attack was random and described the killer as “sloppy and young.”
“It just looks like a targeted incident,” said Clement, who specializes in criminal profiling. “I think it had been brewing in him for a while, and he just lashed out.”
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Aaron Snell, director of communications for the Idaho State Police, told Fox News Digital that investigators are looking into all leads.
“We haven’t come to a conclusion yet and I know it’s frustrating for the public but it’s a very complex and difficult case,” he said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call or email Moscow police at 208-883-7054. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audrey Conklin, Emma Colton and Stephanie Pagonis contributed to this report.