FILE - University of Idaho campus entry sign. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, Idaho - Police have identified four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a home near the campus on Sunday, as authorities called the deaths "homicides" and said the investigation was ongoing.
The Moscow Police Department on Monday identified the victims as Ethan Chapin, a 20-year-old from Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, a 21-year-old from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, from Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, from Rathdrum, Idaho.
Officers first responded to a report of an unconscious person just before noon when they discovered the deaths, according to an initial statement from the city. Authorities did not release additional details, including the cause of death.
"Details are limited in this investigation. Currently, there is no one in custody," the police department wrote in a press release. "The Moscow Police does not believe there is an ongoing community risk based on information gathered during the preliminary investigation."
The police said anyone with information should contact the department and asked that people respect the privacy of the victims' family and friends. Police have called the deaths "homicides," which generally means the killing of one person by another, though the term doesn’t necessarily suggest death was intended or committed in a criminal manner.
"It is with deep sadness that I share with you that the university was notified today of the death of four University of Idaho students living off-campus believed to be victims of homicide," University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement posted Sunday night on social media. "Out of respect for these fellow Vandals, classes statewide and online are canceled Monday, Nov. 14."
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The university said counselors would be available for students at the campus counseling center, while employees could access assistance through an employee assistance program. Green urged people to reach out if they were concerned about classmates or coworkers.
"An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind," Green wrote. "As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up."
Shortly after the bodies were found, the university advised students to shelter in place for about an hour until investigators determined there was "no ongoing threat" to others in the region.
The Moscow Police Department said the investigation was ongoing and asked people with information to call the department.
The city of Moscow is a close-knit college town nestled in the rolling hills of north-central Idaho, about 80 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington.
Meanwhile, students at the University of Virginia were also reeling from a shooting on Sunday night that left three people dead and two others injured. Authorities on Monday were still searching for a student and former football player who was a suspect.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.