House where Idaho college student slayings took place to be demolished
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The home where four University of Idaho students were killed in 2022 will be demolished, the college said in a statement on Friday.
Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were stabbed to death at the house, located on King Street in Moscow, Idaho, early in the morning of Nov. 13, 2022.
Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves were residents of the home; Chapin was Kernodle’s boyfriend. Two other roommates were home and were not harmed, though one reported interacting with suspected killer Brian Kohberger before he left the house.
On Dec. 30, Kohberger was arrested. He has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. His trial is set to begin in June 2023.
University President Scott Green said in a statement shared on the school’s website that the decision was made to demolish the house after its owner “offered to give the house to the university.” The University of Idaho accepted the offer.
“The house will be demolished,” Green said. “This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed. Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene. We are evaluating options where students may be involved in the future development of the property.”
According to the Moscow Police Department, investigators collected over 100 of pieces of evidence from the home and took thousands of photographs and multiple 3-D scans as part of the investigation. Kohberger’s DNA was also found at the house, police said.
The school will also memorialize the four students with scholarship funds and an on-campus memorial.
“Early planning is underway” for the “healing garden and memorial,” which will be “a place of remembrance of other students we have lost and a place of healing for those left behind,” Green said. A university committee, with student representation, is developing a plan for the garden.
Green said that the scholarship funds grew out of early support for the school. Several alumni “led a peer-driven effort to create scholarships as a legacy for each of the four students,” Green explained.
The university has established scholarships in Kernodle, Chapin and Mogen’s names. Work is underway to establish a scholarship in Goncalves’ name. The scholarships, Green said, will “help future students as they pursue their educational opportunities at the U of I.”
“Sometimes it is hard to see beyond this tragedy. But the selfless acts, the deep engagement and loving support of our entire Vandal Family reminds me that there is so much good in the world,” said Green, referencing the school’s mascot. “We will never forget Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee, and I will do everything in my power to protect their dignity and respect their memory. Together we will rebuild and continue to support each other. We are #vandalstrong.”