Cops search woods near to Idaho quadruple murder, as local couple say dog was filleted weeks before

Was there a watcher in the woods? Cops probe whether Idaho quadruple murderer watched victims from thicket near scene, as they admit they haven’t got ANY leads and local couple say dog was filleted weeks before

  • A week after the four Idaho students were found dead in their home police continued to search the area
  • On Sunday investigators were seen combing through nearby woodlands and observing the Moscow house
  • The search coincided with the discovery that last month a dog in Moscow was filleted and found dead
  • An elderly couple’s dog was filleted and skinned on October 21, weeks before the students were murdered
  • A week on from the discovery of the four students police have said they still don’t have any leads or a weapon
  • Police said that more than 640 tips have been received and investigated and they’ve conducted 90 interviews
  • The investigation may be delayed as many students will go home for Thanksgiving, investigators said

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Investigators have trawled through a wooded area behind the house where four University of Idaho students were brutally knifed to death last weekend. 

Photos captured at the scene on Sunday show detectives scouring the nearby woodlands as they investigated where the possible killer may have lurked before murdering the four university students. 

Nonetheless, police still say they still have no promising leads and have not found a murder weapon a week after the four students were found brutally murdered

Roommates Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were fatally stabbed on Sunday November 13 between 3am and 4am. 

Investigators in Moscow, Idaho, were seen looking through the cordoned off bushes behind the home on King Road. Photos of the scene on Sunday show that federal authorities were also present.

Investigators positioned themselves at various places in the woods – as they desperately searched for clues near the murder scene. 

Moscow police were also seen looking through a white Chevrolet sedan parked outside the house where the murders took place, Fox reported

On Sunday detectives were seen combing through woodlands surrounding the house in which the four students were fatally stabbed

On Sunday detectives were seen combing through woodlands surrounding the house in which the four students were fatally stabbed 

Moscow police were seen looking through the cordoned off bushes behind the home on King Road

The four University of Idaho students who were found dead in off-campus housing

The four University of Idaho students who were found dead in off-campus housing

That search in the thickets beside the Moscow house coincided with the revelation that last month just three miles from the scene of the murders a dog belonging to a elderly couple was found skinned with fur left on only its legs and face.

Pam and Jim Colbert’s dog Buddy was fatally skinned and sliced after being let out of their home on October 21. 

Sunday’s search of the woodlands for additional evidence came hours before police said on Sunday during a press conference that multiple other people were in the house when the 911 call reporting the murder was made.

Moscow Police Department held a press conference earlier on Sunday to provide updates on the status of the investigation, which thus far has produced no compelling leads.

The chief stated that the 911 call, placed at 11.58am, was made from the phone ‘of one of the surviving roommates,’ but did not share who that was.

There were ‘other friends’ in the residence when the 911 call was made, he said.

As of Sunday, Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said that more than 640 tips have been received and investigated. Cops have conducted 90 interviews into the massacre so far.

Buddy, a 12-year-old mini Australian shepherd was filleted and skinned close to where four students were brutally murdered only weeks before

Buddy, a 12-year-old mini Australian shepherd was filleted and skinned close to where four students were brutally murdered only weeks before

Investigators positioned themselves at various places in the woods - as they desperately searched for clues near the murder scene

Investigators positioned themselves at various places in the woods – as they desperately searched for clues near the murder scene 

The house in Moscow, Idaho, where the four students were killed was surrounded by various law enforcement personnel including federal authorities on Sunday

The house in Moscow, Idaho, where the four students were killed was surrounded by various law enforcement personnel including federal authorities on Sunday

The four students were killed in the early hours of Sunday November 13. A week after their discovery police have still not found a murder weapon or any compelling leads

The four students were killed in the early hours of Sunday November 13. A week after their discovery police have still not found a murder weapon or any compelling leads

Investigators previously disclosed that Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, the two other residents of the off-campus house, were at home on the night of the attack.

Now, officials say there were in fact others in the home when police were dispatched to the scene.

‘There was other friends that had arrived at the location,’ Fry said Sunday, confirming speculation that others were in the home.

Upon their arrival police located the four victims – two were on the second floor and two on the third floor.

‘Some of the victims had defensive wounds and each victim was stabbed multiple times,’ said Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier.

Lanier confirmed that they have ruled out Mortensen and Funke in connection this crime, as well as a male who is seen on camera at the food truck that Goncalves and Mogen stopped at before going home.

‘Any online reports stating that the victims had been tied and gagged are not accurate,’ Lanier said, after also confirming that there appeared to be no signs of sexual assault.

Police still have not arrested any suspects.

EXCLUSIVE: Woman who lives near scene of Idaho murders says her adorable mini Australian Shepherd was FILLETED weeks before quadruple-slaying, sparking fears same creep is behind both attacks

An elderly couple’s adorable Mini Australian shepherd dog was filleted just three miles away from where four students were brutally murdered weeks later, sparking fears the same warped creep may be behind both attacks. 

Pam and Jim Colbert’s dog Buddy was fatally skinned and sliced after being let out of the home she shares with her husband Jim in Moscow, Idaho, on October 21. 

Pam, 78, says the adorable pooch, who was 12, and had been rescued from a puppy mill, only had fur left on his legs and face.

She has been left badly shaken by the attack on her animal, which was first discovered by the Colbert’s neighbor Barbara Sayler. 

Pam and others now fear the warped creep who disemboweled her pet may also be behind the slayings of students Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, a mile away on November 13.

Recalling the horrific discovery, Pam told DailyMail.com: ‘We called the Sheriff’s Department and the supervisor said that Buddy had been skinned. 

‘It was like a deer that someone had hunted,’ Pam Colbert said. They cut him around the neck and just skinned him. His little legs had fur and his little face had fur, but the rest of him was just skinned. 

‘The other side of him was as though they had filleted him like they were about to eat him. It was terrible. Unbelievable.

‘They cut him like you filet a fish. We found his collar, but we didn’t find the pelt.’ A Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy sent to take photos for a report confirmed Buddy’s killer was human, 

Commenting on her pet’s killing, and the quadruple murder, Pam added: ‘Everybody is very nervous and scared. This is something awful and evil.’ She and Jim, 73, have lived in their home for 39 years – and have now taken to locking their doors for the first time. 

Buddy, a 12-year-old adorable Mini Australian shepherd dog was filleted and skinned close to where four students were brutally murdered only weeks beforehand

Buddy, a 12-year-old adorable Mini Australian shepherd dog was filleted and skinned close to where four students were brutally murdered only weeks beforehand

Jim and Pam Colbert hold the collar of their dog Buddy who was found skinned near their home a month ago in Moscow, Idaho

Jim and Pam Colbert hold the collar of their dog Buddy who was found skinned near their home a month ago in Moscow, Idaho

The collar of Buddy the dog is all the Colbert's have to remind them of their beloved pet who was killed and then skinned

The collar of Buddy the dog is all the Colbert’s have to remind them of their beloved pet who was killed and then skinned

The area where Buddy the dog who was found skinned near the home of Pam and Jim Colbert

The area where Buddy the dog who was found skinned near the home of Pam and Jim Colbert

The incident happened only a few miles from where four University of Idaho students were slain in their beds while they slept

The incident happened only a few miles from where four University of Idaho students were slain in their beds while they slept

Explaining the sequence of events ‘We let Buddy out and somebody must have been waiting out there. Bud never leaves the yard but this person grabbed Buddy.

‘We always leave our doors open and he didn’t come back in. Later that night, Jim went out calling him and couldn’t find him. Friends came up and started looking for him and eventually found him.’ 

Pam and Jim, 73, live in a home set on 10 acres of land in the quiet rural community and managed to get a group of friends together to come and help search for their pet, a Mini Australian Shepherd dog. 

They adopted the pooch five years ago. Disturbingly, Jim found a mutilated rabbit with its scalp and ears sheared off close to his home shortly before Buddy’s death.

He explained: ‘It had the head sliced right open and you could see the brain.’

The couple owned Buddy, who was 12, for five years and was a loving member of their family

The couple owned Buddy, who was 12, for five years and was a loving member of their family

The couple owned Buddy, who was 12, for five years and was a loving member of their family

In recalling distressing details, Colbert says the adorable pooch, who was 12, and had been rescued from a puppy mill, only had fur left on his legs and face

In recalling distressing details, Colbert says the adorable pooch, who was 12, and had been rescued from a puppy mill, only had fur left on his legs and face

Although one police deputy initially believed it to be the work of an animal, another officer with a local force quickly determined that something far more sinister was at work. 

An investigation continues. 

‘We’re not that many people out here. Somebody had to be waiting. We don’t have any enemies. It really was horrible. And now with the students killed, it all got brought back up,’ Pam explained. 

The killing of little Buddy occurred only weeks before the murders of four students in the home that they shared,  just a mile down the road from where the dog’s death occurred. 

‘Our next door neighbor, Clint, put it online after I called him to tell him what happened to Buddy. His dog went crazy that night and tore apart his bed which makes us think Buddy must have made a noise. 

‘We always left our doors open – not any more. None of it makes any sense,’ she explained.

Jim Colbert, 73, is pictured sitting on his armchair with his loving 'Aussie' Buddy in his arms

Jim Colbert, 73, is pictured sitting on his armchair with his loving ‘Aussie’ Buddy in his arms

The Colberts says the students' deaths and the skinning of their dog have shocked the entire community leaving everybody feeling nervous

Buddy, a Mini Australian Shepherd who was brutally killed

The Colberts says the students’ deaths and the skinning of their dog have shocked the entire community leaving everybody feeling nervous

‘One Deputy came out and he said that they are taking it very seriously and that this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen.’ 

Colbert says the students and the skinning have shocked the entire community leaving everybody feeling nervous.  

Clint Hughes posted that his neighbors’ ‘sweet little dog was skinned like a deer. No animal did this. Our dog is bigger and was so anxious about the same time that he tore his bed up into a thousand pieces. Also, our cat has been missing for the last couple of days.’ 

It was also noted how the four students were killed with a knife – believed to have been a Rambo blade – which may also have been used in skinning the dog, although no official link to the murders has been made by those in law enforcement.

Many murderers are known to have begun their criminal careers by abusing animals, before moving on to human targets.  

Local sleuths on Facebook are attempting to connect the killings to the story of a man who found his neighbors' dog skinned alive a mile away from where they were last seen

Local sleuths on Facebook are attempting to connect the killings to the story of a man who found his neighbors’ dog skinned alive a mile away from where they were last seen

Cops are seen investigating tire marks outside the Moscow, Idaho property where four students were murdered last week, as the hunt for their killer continues

Cops are seen investigating tire marks outside the Moscow, Idaho property where four students were murdered last week, as the hunt for their killer continues

This weekend police said they still have no promising leads and have not found a murder weapon one week after four University of Idaho students were found brutally murdered. 

Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry also revealed that there were other people in the house when police responded to the scene on the morning of November 13, aside from the two roommates who were uninjured. 

The chief stated that the call, placed at 11.58am, was made from the phone ‘of one of the surviving roommates,’ but did not share which person it was.

There were ‘other friends’ in the residence when the 911 call was made, he said. 

As of Sunday, Fry and Lanier said that more than 640 tips have been received and investigated. Cops have conducted 90 interviews into the massacre so far.

They did not say whether any have conclusively led to any movement in the case.  

Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said that the 911 call placed just before noon on November 13 was made from the phone of one of the surviving roommates - and there were other people in the residence when the call was made

Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said that the 911 call placed just before noon on November 13 was made from the phone of one of the surviving roommates – and there were other people in the residence when the call was made

The four University of Idaho students who were found dead in off-campus housing

The four University of Idaho students who were found dead in off-campus housing

Investigators has previously disclosed that Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, the two other residents of the off-campus house, were at home on the night of the attack. 

Now, officials say there were in fact others in the home present when police were dispatched to the scene. 

‘There was other friends that had arrived at the location,’ Fry said Sunday, confirming speculation that others were in the home. 

Upon arrival at the home, police located the four victims – two on the second floor, two on the third floor. 

‘Some of the victims had defensive wounds and each victim was stabbed multiple times,’ said Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier. 

Lanier confirmed that they have ruled out Mortensen and Funke in connection this crime, as well as a male who is seen on camera at the food truck that Goncalves and Mogen stopped at before going home. 

‘Any online reports stating that the victims had been tied and gagged are not accurate,’ Lanier said, after also confirming that there appeared to be no signs of sexual assault. 

Police still have not arrested any suspects a week out from the crime.

Fry also said that multiple other people had been at the home on the night that the four victims were murdered inside the Moscow residence

Fry also said that multiple other people had been at the home on the night that the four victims were murdered inside the Moscow residence 

Kaylee Goncalves (left) and her best friend and roommate Madison Mogen

Kaylee Goncalves (left) and her best friend and roommate Madison Mogen

Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle. Kernodle lived at the house with the other two women who were killed, plus two more roommates. Chapin, Kernodle's boyfriend, was staying at her home

Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle. Kernodle lived at the house with the other two women who were killed, plus two more roommates. Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, was staying at her home

Fry confirmed that they still had not identified a suspect in Sunday's killing, and confirmed there were two roommates in the house at the time of the murders

Fry confirmed that they still had not identified a suspect in Sunday’s killing, and confirmed there were two roommates in the house at the time of the murders 

Lanier said Sunday that Goncalves and Mogen had arrived home from a night out around 1.45am, around the same time that Chapin and Kernodle made it back from a different party. 

The two other roommates had also been out but had got home around 1am, police said.  

Early Sunday afternoon, DailyMail.com shared that the parents of Goncalves say their daughter’s ex-boyfriend is innocent after it was revealed that she called him many times the night she and three others were killed.

Steve and Kristi Goncalves spoke with Fox News host Lawrence Jones on Saturday evening about the ongoing investigation into the stabbing death of their daughter Kaylee and three of her roommates last Sunday.

The couple said investigators are ‘wasting their time’ looking into Jack DeCoeur, 26, their daughter’s ex-boyfriend.

‘Jack is just as distraught as we are. Jack is our family. Jacks is 1,000 percent, 2,000 percent our family, and Jack is with us,’ Kristi told the host. ‘We stand behind him 100 percent.’ 

Murder victim Kaylee Goncalves, 21, (right) and her ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur, 26, (left). Kaylee and her friend Maddie called Jack at least seven times in the hours before they were killed

Murder victim Kaylee Goncalves, 21, (right) and her ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur, 26, (left). Kaylee and her friend Maddie called Jack at least seven times in the hours before they were killed

Kristi told Jones that she believes her daughter and Jack ‘would have eventually been married.’

‘They would have eventually had children,’ she said, explaining that the pair had dated for years and were on track to reconcile after spending some time apart.

‘We are supporting him, and we know in our hearts and our minds and our souls and the depths of our soul, Jack is hurting,’ she said.

The distraught parents also said Maddie was like a daughter to them.

‘Maddie was in our oldest daughter’s wedding,’ said Kristi. ‘Every time we traveled out of the country or went on vacation, Maddie went with us, so this is both of our girls, and we will never stop looking for who killed them.’

Kaylee's parents spoke with Fox News about their belief in the innocence of their late daughter's ex-boyfriend

Kaylee's parents spoke with Fox News about their belief in the innocence of their late daughter's ex-boyfriend

‘Jack is just as distraught as we are. Jack is our family. Jacks is 1,000 percent, 2,000 percent our family, and Jack is with us,’ Kristi Goncalves told the Fox News. ‘We stand behind him 100 percent.’ 

The Moscow Police Department has assigned four detectives, 24 officers, and five ‘supportive staff’ to the case in addition to welcoming the assistance of the Idaho State Police and the FBI. 

Despite the numerous agencies investigating, it could still be some time before answers emerge. 

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said last week the already complex investigation has been hampered by the Thanksgiving holiday because many potential witnesses are students who have already left the small college town of Moscow for the break.

Speaking in an interview with DailyMail.com, Thompson said: ‘I have heard nothing to indicate they have identified a viable suspect or heard evidence that could lead to a suspect.’

He added: ‘It could very well be [a lengthy investigation] – I think that all depends on the answers they’re able to find.’ 

Officials said Sunday that the case is a top priority as they hope to bring closure to the victims' families and the person who did it to justice

Officials said Sunday that the case is a top priority as they hope to bring closure to the victims’ families and the person who did it to justice 

‘If they’re lucky, they will find answers for who is responsible for this and what happened quickly, or it could be they don’t get those answers quickly and have to keep digging.’

Thompson’s comments came as the Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt released the official autopsy results and listed stabbing as the cause of death for all four victims.

Mabutt told NBC News the four had ‘extensive ‘ wounds and the murder weapon would have been ‘a bigger knife.’

‘It’s pretty traumatic when you have four dead college students who have been stabbed to death in one location,’ Mabbutt said.

‘We’re looking to see if there are some clues that are on them – some of the suspect’s blood, perhaps, or something under somebody’s fingernails.’

The crime happened between 3 and 4am, police confirmed. 

Police received a 911 call at 11.58am with a report of an ‘unconscious person’ but discovered a bloodbath and pronounced all four dead at the property with death officially declared at noon according to the autopsy report.

Sources close to the investigation described the scene inside the home as ‘the worst they’ve ever seen’ while blood could still be seen oozing through the walls of the modest gray clapperboard property as late as Tuesday morning.

Thompson told DailyMail.com he had heard ‘a preliminary version’ of their story and said neither are suspects but that they will face a more in-depth interview.

He said: ‘I have some preliminary information from when this was first reported on Sunday but unfortunately, it’s the type of information we can’t share publicly because if it was publicly known, it could compromise the investigation.

‘I can tell you that the investigators have been working to have a more comprehensive follow-up interview with the housemates and I have not heard the results of that yet.’

Kaylee Goncalvez, 21, Madison Mogen, 21,

Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20

Kaylee Goncalvez, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, are believed to have been calling a ‘young man’ named ‘jack’ just minutes before they were killed in a brutal stabbing alongside Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20 

In the meantime, police are working on the complicated task of contacting all potential witnesses – an effort that has been hampered by students leaving town for the Thanksgiving break.

He said: ‘One of the challenges is that many of the witnesses – people who knew and met the victims – are students and have gone home this week.

‘They’re scattered all over the western United States so investigators are trying to locate them and make arrangements to interview them which is difficult long distance because we advise our officers not to do telephone interviews.

‘In a criminal investigation, we really prefer they have face-to-face interviews with everybody. That is just one of the challenges investigators are dealing with.

Police appealed for assistance in tracking down the killer or killers

Police appealed for assistance in tracking down the killer or killers

‘We’re very fortunate that State Police have assigned a number of their investigators to help the Moscow Police Department and the FBI have also brought in a team of their investigators to help out. Just to have the manpower out there to find people and talk to them.’

Police have also been conducting a search of trash cans located close to the property in an effort to find the murder weapon – believed to be a large knife, possibly made by the Olean, New York, company KA-BAR, which are used by the US Marines and other military.

Moscow Police Chief Jim Fry has only referred to the murder weapon as an ‘edged weapon’.

Scott Jutte, general manager of the Moscow Building Supply, told the Idaho Statesman that police had questioned him about whether he sold the Rambo-style knives – but he doesn’t.

The murder scene home is on King Road in Moscow, a quiet cul de sac near the University of Idaho campus

The murder scene home is on King Road in Moscow, a quiet cul de sac near the University of Idaho campus

‘They were specifically asking whether or not we carry KA-BAR-style knives, which we do not,’ Jutte said. ‘If we did, we could’ve reviewed surveillance footage. But it wasn’t something I could help them with.’

Police have faced sustained criticism – including from the victim’s families – over what they see as a slow reaction and a lack of transparency that has followed the brutal murders.

Ethan Chapin’s father Jim released a statement slamming the cops.

‘There is a lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media,’ Chapin Sr. said.

‘The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder. For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant and protect the greater community.’

Eyes all round: There are multiple homes near the property but so far, no neighbors have come forward with any information that has led to the killer

Eyes all round: There are multiple homes near the property but so far, no neighbors have come forward with any information that has led to the killer 

This is the sliding door that one of the girls' fathers believe may have been used by the killer to gain access to the home in the early hours of Sunday morning. All four victims were stabbed in their beds

This is the sliding door that one of the girls’ fathers believe may have been used by the killer to gain access to the home in the early hours of Sunday morning. All four victims were stabbed in their beds

Kaylee Goncalves’s sisters have also spoken out, begging parents of students at the University of Idaho to remove them from campus.

Autumn Goncalves wrote on Instagram: ‘No one is in custody and therefore no one is safe. Whoever did this to my sisters (Maddie and Kaylee) is still out there and if he is sick enough to murder FOUR sweet, innocent humans so brutally, he is sick enough to do it to anyone else.’

She continued: ‘Our family was dreading the answer for ‘how’ and we all knew that no matter the answer, we wouldn’t like it, but we got back the worst possible answer.

‘The most gruesome way. One person against four. This person is dangerous and he is not in custody!!! How police say ‘no threat’ MAKES NO SENSE.’

She said Maddie and Kaylee, who grew up together in the Couer d’Alene area, did everything right.

‘They went out together. They locked their doors,’ she wrote.

‘They were smart and they were fighters and this STILL happened. No one is safe. Please get your loved ones home.’

Another sister, Aubrie, said the lack of information had led to wild rumors. ‘This had nothing to do with drugs, and the accusations that people are throwing at Maddie, Kaylee, and her friends are extremely hurtful to read.

‘They did nothing wrong and took all the precautions they should’ve, and they were still killed,’ she added.

Like her sister Aubrie begged students to leave town. ‘Your grades are severely less important than your lives,’ she wrote.

‘You guys are not safe until this sicko is found.’

A third Goncalves sister, Alivea, told Chris Cuomo on News Nation:’ There’s nothing – no boy problem, no threat, no high risk lifestyle that could have indicated this. It has taken all of us completely by shock and we have absolutely no ideas.’

Alivea said she accepted that authorities in small-town Moscow are ‘overwhelmed’, but added: ‘I want more coverage I want more done. I want more people speaking out.’

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