Another Dead-End in Idaho Murder Investigation

Hyundai Elantra found in Eugene, Oregon, is not related to slayings of 4 students
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2022 4:09 PM CST
Updated Dec 21, 2022 5:01 AM CST
Abandoned Vehicle Could Be Clue in Idaho Murders
Bracelets with the names of the four University of Idaho students who were killed on Nov. 13, 2022, are displayed on a table at a vigil for the victims, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Moscow, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
UPDATE Dec 21, 2022 5:01 AM CST

The Hyundai Elantra found abandoned in Oregon is not related to the baffling murders of four University of Idaho students last month, police say. "The vehicle was involved in a collision and subsequently impounded. The vehicle is registered out of Colorado and the female owner is not believed to have any relation to any property in Moscow, Idaho or the ongoing murder investigations," the Moscow Police Department says in a statement cited by Fox News. It was a different white Hyundai Elantra that was spotted near the off-campus home were the students were slain, and police are still looking for it.

Dec 20, 2022 4:09 PM CST

Police in Eugene, Oregon, say they are investigating an abandoned vehicle that could be linked to the unsolved murders of four University of Idaho students. The white Hyundai Elantra was found on a street corner with no license plate and front-end damage, Law & Crime reports. Investigators in Moscow, Idaho, said earlier this month that they were seeking information on a white Hyundai Elantra made between 2011 and 2013 that was seen near the off-campus home where the students were killed in the early hours of Nov. 13. They later said they had received an "overwhelming" number of tips confirming that the vehicle was in the area at the time of the killings, making the occupant somebody they definitely want to speak to.

Eugene is more than 750 miles from Moscow, and it's not clear whether this vehicle is the one investigators are seeking, Law & Crime notes. Police in Moscow say they have been going through a list of 22,000 vehicles that fit the criteria. Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Monday that investigators have received more than 10,000 tips and they don't plan to slow the pace of the investigation over the holidays, reports the Idaho Statesman. Investigators say Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, were probably killed with a large fixed-blade knife, but no weapon has been recovered.

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Fry said investigators are still seeking information on the Hyundai. "What we're asking is that anybody else who still hasn’t sent in a tip, if you own one, or if you know somebody who was driving one the day before or the day after, to please send that tip in," he said. Local police in Moscow are being assisted by state police and the FBI, which has increased the number of agents assigned to the case from 46 to 60. (More University of Idaho stories.)

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