Moscow, Idaho police chief breaks down in tears over university murders investigation: ‘It affects us’

The chief of the police department became visibly emotional discussing his personal connection to the investigation into the slayings of four University of Idaho in an exclusive on-air interview with Fox News.

Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry sat down with Fox News’ Alexis McAdams on Tuesday, over three weeks after the four University of Idaho students, Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were fatally stabbed in a King Road house near the college campus between the hours of 3 and 4 a.m. Police have said they and haven’t recovered the “fixed-blade knife” they believe was the murder weapon.

Reiterating his commitment to solving the quadruple homicide, Fry said he will continue to insist that “no stone will go unturned” as investigators zero in on a timeline of the Nov.13 incident. 

Flowers at an improvised memorial at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho Monday, November 21, 2022, for four of its students who were slain on November 13.

Flowers at an improvised memorial at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho Monday, November 21, 2022, for four of its students who were slain on November 13. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

“This case is not going cold. We have tips coming in, we have investigators out every day interviewing people. We’re still reviewing evidence, we’re still looking at all aspects of this,” he told Fox News in an interview that aired on “The Story.”  “I said early on that no stone will go unturned, and I mean that. We are going to continue. This case is not going cold.”

In a rare moment for the police chief, Fry began to tear up when asked about his personal connection to the case, offering the public a glimpse into the mental toll the gruesome crime has taken on his department and the community.

“I’m a dad with daughters, and it’s tough,” he said. “We’re human. We don’t go to these and just turn it off. It affects us. But we have a job to do, and we’re going to continue to do that job, going to continue to push forward.”

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women's two other roommates in Kaylee Goncalves' final Instagram post, shared the day before the slayings.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women’s two other roommates in Kaylee Goncalves’ final Instagram post, shared the day before the slayings. (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)

Fry’s comments come as some family members of the victims are complaining publicly about the pace of the investigation and the limited information police are sharing with the public.

Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee Goncalves, told Fox News last week that he has , blaming poor police communication and conflicting messages from the department, which he said have raised “more questions than answers.”

His wife, Kristi Goncalves also expressed frustration with the investigation, saying over the weekend that some individuals were cleared by police “very fast that maybe should not have been.”

Fry said that little information is being released to protect the cases’ integrity, but insisted that investigators are using every available resource and doing everything in their power to find the killer. 

Steve Goncalves talks at a vigial Nov. 30 about his daughter Kaylee Goncalves, right, who is one of four University of Idaho students who were murdered Nov. 13.

Steve Goncalves talks at a vigial Nov. 30 about his daughter Kaylee Goncalves, right, who is one of four University of Idaho students who were murdered Nov. 13. (Ted Warren via AP/ Instagram)

Addressing Kristi’s complaint, Fry said the department has re-interviewed some individuals up to three times, noting that a “cleared” individual can still be called back to speak with investigators if the evidence supports it.

“We always have the option of re-interviewing,” he said. “We’ve actually re-interviewed people two or three times because we’ll get tips, or we’ll get information that we need to verify again and sometimes we need to ask the questions just a little bit different to ensure that we’re getting the proper information to continue on with this investigation. So that happens regularly in all investigations.”

At the conclusion of the interview, Fox News host Martha McCallum asked McAdams whether it appears police on the ground know more information than the limited amount they’ve shared with the public.

“Do they seem to be lost at this point for ideas or [are they] really honing in on something? McCallum asked.

McAdams said that police have confirmed to her that they are narrowing down a “pretty good timeline and they’ve got a pretty good amount of information.”

“They say just because they’re not releasing so much information doesn’t mean they don’t have it,” McAdams reported, adding that police have relayed to her that “if they didn’t have information, that’s when they would go to the public and say some of these little bits and pieces more about who they think this person is…if this person is even a man or a woman…

McAdams said police investigating the case feel they’re “on the right track,” adding that they’ve gathered “a lot of evidence and we feel good about the direction this case is heading.”

The Moscow Police Department is asking that the public call in tips at email or submit digital media . 
 

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