The family of one of the four students murdered at University of Idaho off-campus housing has filed a motion to take another look at the gag order that has been put in place for the case.
Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were all murdered on November 13 at their off-campus home. A suspect, who is not being named by The Daily Wire, was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania six weeks after the four friends were stabbed to death.
Goncalves’ family is now challenging a court order saying they cannot speak publicly about the case, KXLY reported. This outlet, along with other media outlets, has also challenged the gag order with no success.
A trial date for the accused killer still has not been set. In April, an ID belonging to someone at the house where four students were killed was found in the suspect’s car, according to NewsNation. Police haven’t confirmed who the ID belongs to due to the gag order Goncalves’ family is now challenging.
Some information has been released, including a search warrant that was unsealed earlier this year. The search warrant stated that police had seized IDs from the 28-year-old man suspected of the murders but have not provided additional details.
“It’s a big deal. That is a smoking license,” retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told NewsNation on Thursday. “Just like the sheath was a smoking sheath found next to Maddie with his DNA on that clasp, it’s the same thing in this situation. Why would he have an ID related to one of those people from that house?”
More than 60 warrants have also been served to major companies and banks in connection to the murders, including Amazon, DoorDash, Reddit, and the owner of dating sites such as Tinder and OkCupid. The contents of the warrants are “sealed and redacted” as part of the murder case against the suspect.
Monroe County First Assistant Michael Mancuso told BRC 13 that when the suspect was arrested, he “was found awake in the kitchen area dressed in shorts and a shirt [and] wearing latex medical type gloves and apparently was taking his personal trash and putting it into … separate zip lock baggies.”
Mancuso implied that the suspect was removing the trash to conceal his DNA. Investigators had been surveilling the home for weeks prior to the suspect’s arrest, and during that time, they searched the trash cans outside.
“A trash pull that was done days before recovered DNA profiles but not from him, only from his family members,” Mancuso told the outlet.
The news follows an unsealed search warrant that listed items taken from the suspect’s parent’s home at the time of his arrest, including a flashlight, four medical-style gloves, a T-shirt, a Washington State Cougars sweatshirt, a pair of size 13 Nike shoes, as well as Under Armour black socks, shorts, and boxers. Police also collected a cheek swab from the suspect for DNA, People Magazine reported.
Of the items taken, Mancuso said two could be important during the suspect’s trial.
“I would be keen on the shoes, the size of the shoes, comparison to any show impressions that might have been recovered at the scene that sort of thing,” he told BRC 13.
He added that the cheek swab could also play a significant role in court.
“Something that they could compare to the DNA of I believe the snap button for the sheath of the knife,” he said, referring to a knife sheath found at the off-campus residence where the victims were found stabbed to death.