Idaho college murder investigators hit roadblock in search for knife origin: 'No real help'

Sunday marked two weeks since four University of Idaho students were killed in their off-campus Moscow home

MOSCOW, Idaho – Investigators combing the Idaho city of Moscow and beyond for clues pertaining to the violent murders of four university students have so far come up empty in their search for information from local knife shops. 

Police investigating the mid-November stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students have contacted local businesses seeking information about the fix-blade knife believed to have been used – but have so far had no success, Idaho State Police communications director Aaron Snell told Fox News Digital Wednesday morning. 

Investigators canvassed local businesses "early in the investigation" looking for information about a potential sale of a knife that matched the description of the murder weapon. 

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO MURDERS TIMELINE: WHAT WE KNOW

"There was no resolution to that," Snell said. "That was no real help to the investigation."

Snell would not comment when asked for a more specific description of the knife beyond what has been described and previously would not say whether any knives were taken from the home, or if police believed the killer brought the weapon to the crime scene. Investigators believe the suspect used a single blade to carry out the crime. 

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women's two other roommates in Kaylee Goncalves' final Instagram post, shared the day before the slayings.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women's two other roommates in Kaylee Goncalves' final Instagram post, shared the day before the slayings. (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)

Seventeen days since the victims were discovered, police have since towed five vehicles from the King Road home, and said they are in talks about when and how they will release the crime scene. 

On Wednesday, he said all of the vehicles that were towed from the home were previously searched and are "still part of the crime scene" and the ongoing search warrant. All five have been moved to the City of Moscow Maintenance Shop, where police can access them if the need arises. 

Snell would not say which electronic devices police had recovered from the home, and if any of the items or other property was found to have been missing. He said such information is "critical to our investigation."

The lifeless bodies of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, and Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, both 20, were discovered around noon on November 13. Officers responded around 11:58 a.m. to a report of an "unconscious person" at the address, and arrived to discover the slain students. 

State police forensics look for clues in Moscow, Idaho on Monday, November 21, 2022. Four University of Idaho students who were slain on November 13 in this house.

State police forensics look for clues in Moscow, Idaho on Monday, November 21, 2022. Four University of Idaho students who were slain on November 13 in this house. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

Two victims’ bodies were located on the second floor, and two others’ were discovered on the third, police have said. 

The victims’ injuries indicated they were stabbed in their sleep sometime between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., and some signs showed the victims trying to fight back, police said. 

IDAHO POLICE SAY FIRST CRIME LAB RESULTS RECEIVED AFTER STUDENT MURDERS

A sign posted in a local diner in Moscow Idaho on Monday, November 28, 2022 asks the public to look for clues in the quadruple homicide of four students from the University of Idaho.

A sign posted in a local diner in Moscow Idaho on Monday, November 28, 2022 asks the public to look for clues in the quadruple homicide of four students from the University of Idaho. (Stephanie Pagones/Fox News Digital)

Two other roommates were on the bottom floor of the home at the time of the attack and survived, police said. 

Goncalves, Kernodle and Mogen were said to have lived in the home at the time. The residence was located just a block from the University of Idaho campus perimeter, and within eyeshot of some fraternity houses.

IDAHO COLLEGE MURDERS: SLAIN STUDENT'S FATHER SAYS SHE HAD STALKER

General views of the Moscow, Idaho home taken on Wednesday, November 16, 2002 where where four students of the University of Idaho were murdered, show red stains running down the foundation of the house.

General views of the Moscow, Idaho home taken on Wednesday, November 16, 2002 where where four students of the University of Idaho were murdered, show red stains running down the foundation of the house. (Credit: Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

A single marked police vehicle was seen parked outside the home on Wednesday. The perimeter remains lined by crime scene tape more than two weeks after the victims were found.

Officials have called the attack "targeted," despite some confusion as to how or why, and have not identified the intended victim.   

IDAHO MURDERS: SLAIN STUDENTS' CARS TOWED FROM CRIME SCENE TWO WEEKS AFTER GRISLY ATTACK

Police have said they have collected 113 pieces of "physical evidence" and captured about 4,000 photos of the crime scene. Investigators have received more than 488 "digital media submissions" via the FBI portal. 

Investigators are still working to identify a suspect, and have not yet recovered the weapon. 

Several vigils were held Wednesday across the state and in Washington State. The University of Idaho hosted a "vandal Family Candlelight Vigil" at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center beginning at 5 p.m. PT Wednesday.

A memorial for the slain students at the University of Idaho, Monday, November 28, 2022 is covered in snow. The menorial is in honor of the victims of a quadruple homicide involving in an off-campus home on November 13.

A memorial for the slain students at the University of Idaho, Monday, November 28, 2022 is covered in snow. The menorial is in honor of the victims of a quadruple homicide involving in an off-campus home on November 13. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

The Moscow Police Department is urging the public to submit any images or information that they think could be important or useful to their investigation. They can do so by calling 208-883-7180, submitting tips through tipline@ci.moscow.id.us, and sending digital media here. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Authorities have also created a dedicated webpage related to the King Road attack.

Fox News Digital's Matteo Cina contributed to this report.