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Idaho murders: Chief believes attack was targeted, school prepares for vigil

(MOSCOW, Idaho) — University of Idaho students, back on campus following Thanksgiving break, will gather Wednesday night for a vigil for their four classmates who were mysteriously stabbed to death this month.

Kaylee Goncalves, 21, her lifelong best friend, Madison Mogen, 21, another roommate Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were killed in the girls’ off-campus house in the early hours of Nov. 13.

“You can’t imagine sending your girl to college and they come back … in an urn,” Goncalves’ father, Steve Goncalves, told ABC News this week. “You’re numb … you can’t absorb that amount of pain and agony.”

No suspects have been identified. Two other roommates in the house at the time survived the attacks, according to police. The surviving roommates are not considered suspects, police said.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry told ABC News on Wednesday that police still “believe this is a targeted attack,” but he won’t reveal why they think that. Fry would not say if a person or the house was a target.

“Everyone wants answers… we want to give those answers as soon as we can,” Fry said, adding that some details must be withheld.

Police initially said they believed there was “no imminent threat to the community,” but later walked that back. Fry told ABC News, “I own the messaging problem at the very beginning. We should’ve done a little better than that. … we needed to correct that.”

Goncalves said the only thing worse than losing his child is knowing that her killer is “having a great life out there — and you’re just left in shambles.”

He said the families deserve justice.

“We just have to come together as a community,” Goncalves said. “Submit all those pieces of evidence … and get this guy off the streets.”

Police urge anyone with information to upload digital media to fbi.gov/moscowidaho or contact the tip line at [email protected] or 208-883-7180.

“Detectives are looking for context to the events and people involved in these murders,” Moscow police said. “Any odd or out-of-the-ordinary events that took place should be reported. Our focus is the investigation, not the activities. Your information, whether you believe it is significant or not, might be a piece of the puzzle.”

Wednesday’s candlelight vigil is at 8 p.m. ET.

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