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Moscow Police Say Abandoned Hyundai Elantra Found In Oregon Not Related To Idaho Murders


UPDATE: Moscow Police released new information at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday about the white Hyundai Elantra found in Eugene, Oregon. Police said the vehicle is registered out of Colorado and investigators spoke with the female owner. Police said she is not believed to “have any relation to any property in Moscow, Idaho or the ongoing murder investigations.” Moscow Police asked the public to stop contacting the owner.

Anyone with information about the murders or the white Hyundai is asked to call the tipline at 208-883-7180. Tips may also be submitted [email protected]

Moscow Police are “aware of” an abandoned white, Hyundai Elantra found with no license plates and front-end damage after it was reported to be found on a street corner in Eugene, Oregon.

Photos of the abandoned car have been circulating online. A spokesperson for Eugene Police told Law&Crime they are working to impound the vehicle and forwarded the information about the white Hyundai to Moscow Police. Aaron Snell, a public information officer for Moscow Police, told Law&Crime “we are aware of the vehicle and are investigating it.” Eugene police confirmed a vehicle was found on West 7th Street in Eugene.  It is not clear whether this vehicle is the Hyundai being sought by investigators. Moscow is more than 750 miles away from Eugene.  Law enforcement has previously said they are combing through information about 22,000 white Hyundai Elantras.

Abandoned Hyundai Elantra

Photos of abandoned Hyundai Elantra found in Eugene, Oregon. (Images from Law&Crime)

The lead about the Hyundai came after police said they have received more than 10,000 tips since the investigation began on November 13. That morning, roommates and police found Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, stabbed to death in the home on King Rd. Police have said they do not have a suspect and are being assisted by the FBI and Idaho State Police as they work to track down the killer or killers.

Over the weekend, a Facebook group released surveillance video that showed Kaylee Goncalves and Maddie Mogen walking on the sidewalk after they left the Corner Club bar in the early morning hours of November 13. Police have previously said Goncalves and Mogen were at the bar from 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12 to 1:30 a.m. on Sunday November 13. The pair was seen at the Grub Truck food truck a short time later ordering food and arrived home at 1:56 a.m., according to a timeline released by police.

In the video, which was released first to Fox News and then NewsNation, Mogen and Goncalves can be seen walking with a man wearing a hood. The man appears to be the so-called “hoodie guy” from the food truck video. The man, who police have said is not believed to be involved in the murders, is walking with the women – not following them.

“I think it answers a lot of questions that some people might have about hoodie guy,” said retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer. “Very early on, law enforcement has said they don’t expect that he is involved in this murder and in this crime. Yet, he’s been indicted on social media with little more than the way he looked or his positioning at the food truck.”

The man, who Law&Crime is not naming because he has not been charged with a crime, can be seen standing near Mogen and Goncalves at the food truck. As Goncalves and Mogen walk out of frame, presumably to a private ride service, “hoodie guy” walks in another direction.

“I think adds to the picture that hoodie guy is not involved,” Coffindaffer said on Law&Crime’s Sidebar podcast.

In the video, Goncalves asked Mogen, “Maddie, what did you say to Adam?” Mogen responds, “I told Adam everything.”

Goncalves’ father told Fox News Saturday night that they’ve been aware of the video for some time and that it was comforting to them to see Mogen and his daughter just walking down the street as college students would. He said “Adam” was their bartender and is not involved in the homicide investigation.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry released a pre-recorded interview Monday in which he said the department has received “many tips” about the white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra that police have been searching for for nearly two weeks.

“What we’re asking is that anyone who hasn’t sent in a tip, if you own one, or you know somebody who was driving one the day before or the day after, please send that tip in,” Chief Fry said.

The vehicle was “in the immediate area” of the crime scene at the time of the murders, police have previously said. One Moscow Police spokesperson said the car “was there.” Police have said the occupant or occupants may have information critical to the case.

Debbie Francetich, who owns an apartment building nearby on Linda Ln., told Law&Crime that Moscow Police have access to their video surveillance system and received video from their system a day after the murders that showed a “light-colored car” driving west on Taylor Rd. around the time of the murders. Francetich said the vehicle appeared to be driving the speed limit but she said you couldn’t tell the make of the vehicle based on her footage. However, she said police and the FBI intended to analyze and enhance the image.

It’s not clear whether Moscow Police identified the vehicle from video that has not been released or from an eyewitness account. However, police said last week they noticed “patterns” from watching video of the area.

“Law enforcement has used some particular words that I noticed  -one was a pattern, Coffindaffer said.  “They specifically said they’ve seen a pattern that really stuck out to me because that means that perhaps they’ve seen this white Elantra previously.”

Meanwhile, the number of FBI agents working on the case has increased for 60 from 46 last week. Idaho State Police are also assisting in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the white Hyundai is asked to call Moscow Police at 208-883-7180.

Video can be uploaded to the FBI site or emailed to [email protected]

This story was updated at 8:05 p.m. on December 20 to reflect new information from Moscow Police. 

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

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Angenette Levy is a correspondent and host for the Law&Crime Network. Angenette has worked in newsrooms in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Cincinnati, Ohio. She has covered a number of high-profile criminal cases in both state and federal courts throughout her career including the trials of Steven Avery, Brooke “Skylar” Richardson and most recently the trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2015 for a story she covered in which she found a missing toddler who was the subject of an Amber Alert. Angenette is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.