Police have warned of “nuisance” caused by online speculation about the University of Idaho killings after one of the victims’ sisters beat up sniffer dogs.
After the brutal stabbing of four college students in Moscow, Idaho, online speculation has fueled intimidation of those who may or may not be involved, police said.
Authorities looked into the issue on Friday after social media users spread rumors online about possible prospects, which caused the intimidation, police said.
Online detectives are scouring the web for leads after Moscow police released little information about the deaths of Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20, and roommates Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, both 21.
Moscow Police said: “Investigators have been monitoring online activity related to this ongoing and active case.”
They said they were “aware of the large amount of rumors and misinformation being shared, as well as harassing and threatening behavior towards potentially involved parties”.
“Anyone who engages in threats or harassment in person, online or otherwise must understand that they could be prosecuted,” Moscow police said.
“The Moscow Police Department is warning the public not to rely on rumors and remains committed to keeping the public informed. We urge relying on official channels for accurate information.”
Alivea Goncalves, Kaylee’s sister, defended her family, who she says is facing an online scrutiny as people everywhere seek answers to the harrowing crime.
In the Reddit thread r/idahomurders, someone reposted Alivea’s statement from a Facebook group where the case was discussed.
The sister wrote, “We don’t owe you our jobs or updated benefits.”
“Myself, my brother and my father have never really used social media.
“We insist on continuing to speak for Kaylee & Maddie because they can no longer and no arrest has been made.
“I would not jump a meter in the air to save my own life if I were in danger.
“I would just go find my sisters when I’m with what’s left after we left.”
“MISTER AND HELPLESS”
No arrests have been made since the killings, leaving families and university students begging for answers.
Investigators recently announced they were searching for the occupants of a white 2011-13 Hyundai Elantra they believe was in the area where the killings took place in the early hours of November 13.
Police were seen removing the victims’ belongings from the home and said they would be returning the items to the families.
While little is known about the case at this time, Alivea said the family felt “absolutely awful” in their heartbreaking appeal to over-the-top sleuths.
“That was our sister, our daughter, our children’s aunt.
“I’ve always protected her. But this time we couldn’t.
“It’s a miserable and helpless feeling that I really can’t ever feel for you.”
Officials admitted Tuesday they are puzzled by a four-hour gap in two of the victims’ schedules.
Kernodle and her boyfriend Mogen were seen at a party at the Sigma Chi Brotherhood home and were returning home around 1:45 a.m. the night they were murdered, according to officials.
Police now want to know where the couple were between around 9pm on November 12th and 1.45am on November 13th.
“Any interactions, contacts, direction and method of travel, or anything abnormal could add context to what happened,” Moscow investigators said in a statement Tuesday.
On Tuesday, police also addressed rumors that Kaylee had a stalker prior to her murder, based on an incident where a man appeared to follow her into a store and as she left to go to her car.
However, officials said the man then turned away and appeared not to have made contact with her.
The police statement said: “Detectives contacted both men and learned that the two were attempting to meet women in the shop, this was confirmed by additional investigations.
“Based on the information available, detectives believe this was an isolated incident and not an ongoing stalking pattern. There is no evidence that the two men were involved in the murders.”
The police update comes as it was revealed Kaylee’s injuries were “significantly more brutal” than those of the other victims.
The allegation appears to have reignited fears that the attack was targeted, after police last week appeared to have reverted to their original statements that this was the case.
Chapin had visited the residence at the time of the attack, and there were two other housemates who were at the home but have since been ruled out as suspects.
Goncalves and Mogen reportedly slept in the same bed in an upstairs room, meaning the killer had to specifically go to her room to commit the crime.
Meanwhile, some students have chosen to return home and safely continue their schooling off campus.
“I’m coming home this weekend, back to Boise,” newcomer Ella Wise told local broadcaster KING-TV last week.
“My family is very concerned, and rightly so.”
Wise said her housemates are also going home, saying they don’t feel safe when no one is in custody.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/6885921/university-idaho-murders-moscow-criminal-charges-harassment/ Warning from cops investigating University of Idaho murders after victim’s sister Kaylee Gonclave attacked sniffer dogs