Families of Idaho College Murder Victims Point Out Major Problem as House Is Demolished: ‘Stop This Madness’

Families of Idaho College Murder Victims Point Out Major Problem as House Is Demolished: ‘Stop This Madness’

The three-story rental house where four University of Idaho students were brutally murdered last November was demolished on Thursday.

A crew tore down the home at 1122 King Road, where Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022, according to People.

The case shocked the small college town of Moscow and sparked rampant public speculation. After a six-week search, authorities arrested 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D. student at nearby Washington State University, at his family’s home in Pennsylvania.

Kohberger was charged with burglary and four counts of first-degree murder.

Court documents reveal his DNA was found on a knife sheath left on Mogen’s bed, and his cellphone pinged near the victims’ home at least 12 times in the months before the killings, according to ABC News.

Kohberger has pleaded not guilty. His trial remains indefinitely postponed after he waived his right to a speedy trial in August.

University president Scott Green announced plans to demolish the home in February, describing it as “a healing step.”

However, some believe the destruction of the crime scene was premature.

On Thursday, the families of Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle put out a statement saying they had asked local authorities and the University of Idaho to “stop this madness.”

The families contended that the house could have provided answers to critical questions surrounding the murders, including what the surviving roommates could see and hear from their rooms, how the suspect may have entered and exited the home, and what he could see from outside.

“If the home is demolished, will all of these questions be able to be answered later on … if they become an issue at trial? If not then leave the home alone!” the families wrote.

Former FBI agent Brad Garrett agreed.

“You go room to room … to make sure that you get every possible, conceivable piece of evidence,” Garrett told ABC News.

“The jury can now not walk through the crime scene where this occurred. It’s so important, if the jury so desires, to be able to walk physically into the rooms where these attacks occurred.”

Investigators and prosecutors, meanwhile, say they have no further need of the house “because they have already collected measurements to create illustrative exhibits for the jury,” NBC News reported.


The Goncalves family’s concerns are valid. The decision to raze the house seems egregiously premature.

Yes, this property had become a tragic place frozen in time. Demolishing it may have offered some symbolic closure. But we must ask: At what cost?

The house could still have held vital clues in the case against Kohberger. Conversely, it could have contained evidence exonerating him.

Although this decision may have been well-intentioned, made for the sake of speedier “healing,” the sobering truth is that true healing cannot occur until there is full accountability and justice in this case.

Unfortunately, by destroying the crime scene before the trial has even begun, the university may have hindered the pursuit of justice and, by extension, the healing so many are seeking.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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