Idaho murder victims’ hands have been sacked to protect possible DNA evidence

The four University of Idaho students found murdered in their off-campus home reportedly had their hands wrapped at the scene to secure any DNA evidence that could lead police to their killer.

Investigators secured the hands of all the victims in forensic bags before their bodies were removed from the grim crime scene in Moscow, Idaho last month, coroner Cathy Mabbutt told Fox News on Monday.

Forensic scientists say it’s possible the students who were killed – Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20 – could have the suspect’s DNA under their nails or on their hands.

“With such a close-range attack, there’s a good chance the victim will scratch their face or arms [of the assailant] while trying to defend themselves,” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

DNA expert Matthew Gamette – the director of the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory Systems – added that it would likely take weeks to test all the evidence collected.

The murdered students at the University of Idaho
University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were found murdered Nov. 13 at their off-campus home.

He said if DNA was obtained from the crime scene or from the victims, investigators would run it through various databases to “try to identify a potential perpetrator.”

Local police have still not named a suspect or published a profile of the killer.

Cops have said the November 13 attack was “aimed” but have not elaborated further.

Autopsies revealed that all four students were stabbed and that the attack likely began while they slept.

Detectives examine the crime scene
Investigators bagged the hands of each student at the scene before their bodies were removed.
James Keivom

It came as Steven Goncalves, the father of one of the victims, called taciturn police officers “cowards” over the weekend and insisted they had to release information to the public in order to track down the killer.

“I was outraged that they didn’t just come out and say this was a woman or a man because they should know how much force it took to clear the injuries,” Goncalves said.

“They’re just cowards. There are girls walking the streets right now who deserve to know. You should be on the lookout for a sadistic man.”

https://nypost.com/2022/12/12/idaho-murder-victims-had-hands-bagged-to-protect-possible-evidence/ Idaho murder victims’ hands have been sacked to protect possible DNA evidence

JACLYN DIAZ

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