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Idaho murder victim’s father turns to private investigators amid lack of updates from ‘inexperienced’ police

The Independent logo The Independent 12/6/2022 Andrea Blanco
Parents of slain Idaho students frustrated with police investigation

The father of a slain University of Idaho student has shared his frustration with how police are handling the quadruple murder as official updates and developments grow increasingly unsubstantial.

Steve Goncalves, whose daughter Kaylee Goncalves was brutally stabbed along with her friends Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin on 13 November, told the New York Post on Sunday - three weeks after the killings - that he has turned to private investigators for help.

His decision to seek outside help stems from a lack of confidence in the Moscow Police Department, which has been working with the Idaho State Police and the FBI on the murders.

Mr Goncalves noted that one of the officers in the investigation was only a teenager when Moscow saw its last murder in 2015. “So they’re just inexperienced — and I don’t want anyone making mistakes in my child’s case,” he said.

The lack of updates from law enforcement has caused frustration among the victims’ parents, students on campus, and locals who fear what the killer could do while still at large.

Mr Goncalves criticised authorities for not releasing the potential killer’s criminal profile to ease those growing concerns.

He said that he had gotten in touch with veteran private detectives after “enough insiders [told] us we should be concerned.”

He added that he believes investigators had been too quick to rule out one individual in particular, a man who was seen near Goncalves and Mogen on a food truck’s Twitch livestream just hours before their deaths.

“Some people came to us and said that he’s out of the country. He didn’t take a DNA test,” he told the Post of the man, who police have repeatedly said is not believed to be involved in the crimes.

The Independent has reached out to Idaho State Police with those claims.

Mr Goncalves said that he hopes to ultimately be wrong about the investigation and that he is positively surprised with new developments soon.

“I’ll apologise. I’ll come out and say ‘These guys had amazing DNA or some evidence and good for them. I was giving them s–t and I take it back.”

“I’d love to be wrong and we can get this guy.”

Investigators at the crime scene where the murders took place (©Daily News) © Provided by The Independent Investigators at the crime scene where the murders took place (©Daily News)

Three weeks into the investigation, no suspects have been identified and no murder weapon has been found.

Authorities have remained largely silent about any breakthroughs.

In a statement on Monday, the department said on Facebook that they are aware of an “isolated” incident involving Goncalves and two men back in October. The men, who reportedly followed Goncalves into a business and as she returned to her car, are not believed to be involved in the murder, Moscow police said.

The department also revealed that the dog found inside the home by investigators was in a room where the crimes had not been committed and evidence was not found on the pet.

“While the dog was in the house when officers arrived, it has not been determined where the dog was physically located when the murders took place,” the department said.

It is believed that the stabbings took place between 3am and 4am after the victims returned home. Their bodies were found on the second and third floors by investigators dispatched to the scene after a 911 call was made from the cellphone of one of the two surviving roommates who were on the first floor at the time of the killings.

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