Police on Wednesday held a press conference on the murder of four University of Idaho students during the early hours of November 13, which has sparked new theories about the tragic case online.
Representatives from the Moscow police department, Idaho state police and civilian authorities gave an update on the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. All four were found stabbed to death at an off-campus student property in Moscow, Idaho.
Police have yet to make any arrests or name a suspect, and are urging anyone with information about the case to come forward.
Moscow Police Department Chief James Frye was asked about the similarities between the case and a double stabbing in Salem, Oregon, which took place last year.
In that incident, Travis and Jamilyn Juetten were woken in their home during the early hours by a man who attacked them with a knife.
Travis was pronounced dead at the scene, but Jamilyn survived, despite receiving 19 stab wounds. Police haven't identified a suspect in the attack.
Chief Frye said: "We're looking at every avenue and we have other agencies reaching out to us with other cases, stuff that we are going to follow up on."
The chief added that investigators looking into the Idaho murders had received a tip relating to the Oregon case.
Writing on the r/idahomurders subreddit, where concerned citizens discussed details of the attack, user u/shfh9835 said the police's refusal to rule out links to the Oregon case was "notable."
They wrote: "I was surprised there wasn't an immediate dismissal of the possible connection to the Oregon stabbings in Marion County. I am used to watching press conferences where LEO [Law Enforcement Officers] often will just outright reject connections to other cases, especially in different states - they feel like a stretch, they aren't considered a serious consideration, etc.
"The fact that they seemed aware of and interested in that possible connection was noticeable to me."
At the press conference, Captain Roger Lanier from Moscow Police Department repeated an earlier claim that the killings were likely a targeted attack.
He said: "Very clearly, from the beginning, we said that we believe it was a targeted attack. I mean, to be honest, you're going to have to trust us on that at this point because we're not going to release why we think that."
All three of the female victims lived in the house, while the only male, Ethan Chapin, was staying over with his girlfriend. Two other female residents of the house slept through the attack and were unharmed.
On Reddit, user u/shfh9835 questioned whether the "targeted attack" could have been aimed at women, rather than any one person.
"While LEO didn't explain the 'targeted' issue, I believe there's probably physical evidence that points to this crime being targeted at women/the women's wounds, or placement of the body, etc., were different than Ethan's.
"I don't think 'targeted' necessarily means one person and I know a lot of speculation has been that it's Kaylee. 'Targeted' in my mind means that there was a particular identifying factor that was possible motivation for the crime—in my mind and based off of patterns of violent murders like this (Ted Bundy, Danny Rolling), I think targeted gender would be enough to warrant use of the term."
The Moscow Police Department has been contacted for comment.
Police investigating the case are hunting for a fixed blade knife, which they believe was the murder weapon.
Detectives added that a skinned dog reported to the Latah County Sheriff's Office is "unrelated" to the case.