Idaho police have confirmed that an unharmed dog was found at the crime scene of the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students.
The Moscow Police Department released a statement on Monday saying that officers responding to the fatal stabbings at 1122 King Road on 13 November located a dog at the residence. The pet was unharmed and turned over to Animal Service, police said. It has since been released to a “responsible party.”
It is unclear whether the dog belongs to one of the surviving roommates or the victims — Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin, who did not live in the home but was visiting Kernodle.
It was not disclosed whether police believe that the killer, who is still at large, spared the dog’s life or never came into contact with it.
Police also provided an update on Monday ahead of a presser on Wednesday, saying that reports of a skinned dog three miles from the crime scene weeks ago are not related to the murders.
“Detectives are aware of a Latah County Sheriff’s Office incident of the report of a skinned dog and have determined it is unrelated to this incident,” a Moscow Police Department spokesperson told The Independent.
During a press conference on Sunday, Police Captain Roger Lanier denied reports that the victims had been found tied and gagged and said that any information circulating online about the identity of the 911 caller was mere speculation.
Mr Lanier added that the two surviving roommates, a male seen on Twitch video that also featured Goncalves and Mogen at a food truck hours before the murders, and an individual who drove the two of them home that night are not considered suspects.
Autopsy findings released last week revealed that all four had suffered multiple stab wounds from a large knife.
The deaths have been ruled homicides with the killer or killers still at large a week on from the slayings. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt confirmed that some of the victims had defensive wounds from the knife attack, adding that she had seen “nothing, nothing like this” in her almost two-decade-long career.
There was no sign of sexual assault on any of the victims but they each suffered “pretty extensive” wounds, she told NBC News, confirming that each victim was stabbed a different amount of times and in different places on the body.
Officials have refused to reveal who called 911 but did provide new details about the mystery call, adding that it was made from the cellphone of one of the two roommates.
Authorities said that more details will be released during a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.