Idaho murders: Moscow police chief breaks down in tears over student homicide investigation

Four Dead University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho, Police Chief James Fry answers questions at a press conference, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho, about a quadruple homicide investigation involving four University of Idaho students. Ten days after four students were stabbed to death in their rooms, police said Wednesday they still have not identified a suspect or found a murder weapon, and they continued asking for tips and surveillance video. (Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP) Zach Wilkinson/AP

Idaho murders: Moscow police chief breaks down in tears over student homicide investigation

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The chief of police in Moscow, Idaho, broke down in tears on Tuesday while discussing the mental toll a murder investigation takes on all those involved.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry got emotional during an interview with Fox News, claiming that the force does not turn off their emotions when investigating a gruesome crime like the murder of four college students but that they would remain devoted to their jobs.


Fry is investigating the deaths of four University of Idaho students — Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 — who were fatally stabbed in a King Road house near the university’s campus on Nov. 13.

“I’m a dad with daughters, and it’s tough,” Fry told the outlet. “We’re human. We don’t go to these and just turn it off. It affects us. But we have a job to do, and we’re going to continue to do that job, going to continue to push forward.”

Fry vowed that he would not let the investigation into their murders go cold, despite not having a clear suspect or murder weapon.

“This case is not going cold. We have tips coming in. We have investigators out every day interviewing people. We’re still reviewing evidence. We’re still looking at all aspects of this,” Fry said. “I said early on that no stone will go unturned, and I mean that. We are going to continue. This case is not going cold.”

Fry’s comments come as members of the community, including the parents of some of the victims, have voiced frustration over the speed of the investigation and its lack of results. Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee Goncalves, said he lost confidence in the investigation last week and blamed poor communication with the police department and conflicting messages. His wife, Kristi, was also frustrated with the department after they quickly cleared suspects she felt deserved more attention.

However, Fry said the department has interviewed some people two or three times when new information comes to light or when they need to verify something.

“We always have the option of re-interviewing,” Fry said. “We’ve actually re-interviewed people two or three times because we’ll get tips or we’ll get information that we need to verify again, and sometimes we need to ask the questions just a little bit different to ensure that we’re getting the proper information to continue on with this investigation. So, that happens regularly in all investigations.”


The two surviving roommates who lived on the lower floor of the King Road house, Dylan Mortensen, 19, and Bethany Funke, 19, recently spoke out for the first time, saying how much they missed their roommates and detailed the difficult time they were having processing the murders they slept through. Both roommates have been cleared by authorities.

It is unclear whether the attacks were targeted, with local law enforcement officials going back and forth on the theory.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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