Idaho state crime lab prioritizes evidence testing in college students' brutal murder case

Results of forensic testing in University of Idaho case will go directly to detectives when they become available

FIRST ON FOX – MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho state crime lab has prioritized testing on evidence from the Moscow home where four University of Idaho students were murdered on Nov. 13, according to authorities.

Idaho State Police (ISP) Forensic Services is "doing much of the forensics analysis" in the case, which is a "priority for them," ISP Public Information Officer Aaron Snell told Fox News Digital in a Friday interview.

"There have been scientists working 24/7 in the lab to try and get back some of those results in quick order," Snell continued. "So, while there's other cases going on, this case is a priority. And we're starting to get back some results."

While it is unclear exactly how long it will take authorities to determine whether DNA that did not belong to any of the victims was left at the scene of the crime, results will "go to the detectives" when they become available, Snell explained.

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State police forensics on Nov. 21 look for clues at the Moscow, Idaho, home where four students were murdered on Nov. 13. 

State police forensics on Nov. 21 look for clues at the Moscow, Idaho, home where four students were murdered on Nov. 13.  (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

The evidence will help create a "full picture" of the crime scene and what exactly unfolded in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, when the four students were stabbed to death while sleeping.

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Each of the victims including Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21, had multiple stab wounds. "Some" of the victims had defensive wounds, according to autopsy results from the Latah County coroner. 

A split photo showing the crime scene and the victims, including University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.

A split photo showing the crime scene and the victims, including University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital/ Instagram/ @xanakernodle/ @kayleegoncalves))

There were no signs of forced entry at the victims' residence, which was known among neighbors as a loud party house for U of I students, but the crime scene was very bloody when police arrived shortly after receiving a 911 call reporting an unconscious person at 11:58 a.m. that morning.

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It is unclear exactly how many people — including the victims' two roommates — were at the home before police arrived.

Flowers and a toy bear sit as a memorial the house where four University of Idaho students were murdered at 1122 King Rd. in Moscow on November 21, 2022.

Flowers and a toy bear sit as a memorial the house where four University of Idaho students were murdered at 1122 King Rd. in Moscow on November 21, 2022. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

"We're going to be patient. We're going to be thorough. And…we also ask that the community recognize that there are some aspects of this investigation that will take us a little bit longer, but we're going to continue to work through," Snell said.

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Moscow's last homicide occurred in 2015. Since quadruple murder, dozens of federal and state law enforcement officials have been assigned to the case to assist MPD in identifying and finding the killer, as well as the killer's motive.

Officials are also still searching for the murder weapon, which they believe to be a knife. They have received and analyzed more than 1,000 tips related to the case.

The Moscow, Idaho, Police Department headquarters.

The Moscow, Idaho, Police Department headquarters. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

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University of Idaho students will have the option to take remote classes as the perpetrator remains on loose. 

Police are asking anyone with information or footage related to the slayings to call 208-883-7180 or tipline@ci.moscow.id.us.