Police reveal key new detail in Idaho college murders 911 call as ‘private party’ ruled out as suspect

Police have offered their latest update on the investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students last weekend, though details like a suspect, murder weapon, or motive remain illusive.

Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were believed to have been killed in the early morning hours of 13 November at an off-campus residence.

Moscow, Idaho police announced on Saturday that an anonymous “private party” drove Goncalves and Mogen home. (Police had previously described them taking an Uber home.)

“At this time, detectives have investigated the private party driver who took Kaylee and Madison home on November 13th and do not believe he is involved in this crime,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

The briefing also contains new details about the role of the victims’ roommates, who were likely home at the time of the murder.

Goncalves, Mogen, and Kernodle shared a rental with two roomates, who arrived back at home around 1am, according to police, not long before the murders were thought to have taken place.

However, once the roommates were home, they feel asleep and didn’t wake up until “later on November 13th,” Moscow police said, helping to explain why a 911 call didn’t arrive to police until noon later that day.

That call was “made from inside the residence on one of the roommates’ cell phones,” police added.

Officials said they were aware of calls the victims made to various individuals the night of the killings, a likely reference to Goncalves, whose family says she called the same man seven times that evening.

Police are seeking surveillance footage from around Moscow, including near the city’s Arboretum & Botanical Garden, for the hours of 3am to 6am the day of the murders.

Jeffrey Kernodle, father of Xana Kernodle, called the tragedy his “worst nightmare.”

“How can you protect some kid? You keep them at home and don’t let him go to college? They’re not gonna stay at home like that,” Mr Kernodle told The Independent. “So, it’s really mind-boggling. It’s just completely unthinkable and it’s the worst nightmare.”

Officials plan to offer a press conference on Sunday at 3pm local time.