Idaho police on Monday publicly cleared as suspects two men involved in a “stalker reference” that may have been made by slain University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves.
City of Moscow police revealed that investigators identified an incident at a local business in mid-October “that may have been the stalker’s referral (Goncalves) to friends and family.” Two men were seen inside the unnamed business, and when they separated, one of them appeared to follow Goncalves after she left to go to her car, police said.
But “the man turned away and it does not appear that he made contact with her,” police said in a news release Monday.
Detectives contacted both men, who told them they were trying to meet women at the business. Their story was corroborated through further investigation, police said.
“Based on the information available, detectives believe this was an isolated incident and not an ongoing pattern of stalking,” Moscow police said.
“There is no evidence to suggest that the two men were involved in the murders.”
But authorities said they would continue to investigate whether or not Goncalves had a stalker as they again pleaded with the public for any information about the murders of her and three other University of Idaho students.
A week after the killings, police said investigators were aware of reports that Goncalves had a stalker, but were unable to verify or identify a stalker after reviewing “hundreds of pieces of information.”
So far, detectives have received an extraordinary 2,645 emailed tips, 2,770 phone tips and more than 1,000 digital submissions as the killer or killers of Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, remain at large. The gruesome discovery on November 13 of the four stabbed bodies has shaken the small university town.
Police also made it clear that Goncalves’ dog, found inside the off-campus house where the quadruple slaying took place, had no evidence of it. The pet was in a room where the crimes were not committed, police said, and there was no indication the puppy entered the crime scene.
“While the dog was in the house when officers arrived,” Moscow police said. “It has not been determined where the dog was physically located when the murders took place.”
Detectives are still seeking information about what happened between 21.00 on Saturday 12 November until around 1:45 a.m. the next morning in connection with Chapin and Kernodle, who police believed were at the Sigma Chi frat house on campus.
The FBI and state police are also involved in the high-profile murder case as frustration from the victims’ families grows. Moscow police criticized the speculation for “exciting public fear and spreading false information.”
“Law enforcement has not released additional facts to the family or the public,” Moscow police said, pointing to the ongoing investigation. “We recognize the frustration this causes and that speculation spreads in the absence of facts.
“However, we strongly believe that speculation and unchecked information is a disservice to the victims, their families and our community.”