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State Police Obtain Surveillance Footage that Could Provide Key Insight into Car Being Sought in University of Idaho Student Murders Case


A gas station in Moscow Idaho

Police on Tuesday reportedly obtained extensive surveillance footage from a gas station in the rural college town of Moscow where four University of Idaho students were murdered in early November.

According to Fox News, the footage in question spans more than eight hours. The relevant segment, at least for now, is said to have been recorded around 3:45 a.m. on the night of the homicidal stabbing. In that clip, a white sedan drives past the gas station in question.

An image of the car, from the footage, can be seen reflected onto an image of a cellular phone and shows a white car driving at night – clearly denoted by its strong and visible headlights.

Late last week, police in the until-recently sleepy community said that a white 2011 to 2013 Hyundai Elantra was seen in the area on the night the students were stabbed to death. No pictures of the actual vehicle singled out by police have yet to be made available.

The surveillance footage from the gas station may offer the first glimpse of the vehicle that has elicited investigators’ attention.

During an interview with the network, the overnight assistant manager said that she has slowly been reviewing surveillance footage over the past few days during her moments of downtime.

“I had a weird feeling to go get on the cameras,” the employee, who is being kept anonymous out of concerns for her safety, told Fox News.

After the discovery, she reportedly said, she contacted police by way of a tip line set up specifically to deal with the mysterious murders.

The employee also said that the car drove by “real quick” before turning down a side street that runs off Highway 8.

The perhaps pivotal update comes in a case that has, for many of those intimately involved, moved achingly slow.

During the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022, University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20 Kaylee Goncalves, and Madison Mogen, 20, were stabbed to death at off-campus housing in the tiny college-focused community. Some, but not all, of them were killed as they slept, according to the Latah County Coroner.

The three young women lived together in the three-story house that has long been a home for class after class of university students in the area; Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, was sleeping over on the night in question. Two other roommates, who were asleep on the first floor, were left untouched by the killer or killers.

Goncalves’ father, Steve Goncalves, who has frequently criticized law enforcement, called police “cowards” on Monday for the small amount of information shared, also remarking upon the size of the wounds his daughter sustained and speculating about the culprit.

Police in Moscow recently said investigators “believe the occupant(s) of [the Elantra] may have critical information to share.”

Public details about the case are all but negligible. Local authorities have acknowledged the slow-moving pace of the investigation so far and eventually backed off of, and vacillated about, previous statements about the extent to which the victims themselves were “targeted” in the shocking, unusual, quadruple homicide.

It is presently unclear if the car on the gas station footage is, in fact, the Elantra that police are after.

According to Fox News, Moscow Police spokesperson Robbie Johnson could not confirm if the two cars are one and the same – but continued to urge the public for any help they can give.

“If you saw anything that night that looks strange…anything you have to report, even if you don’t think it’s anything, we’re still encouraging people to send that in,” she told the network. “When we get that information, even it’s small, sometimes it can piece together the timeline, put those puzzle pieces together, and we get a greater, bigger picture of what was going on.”

[image via screengrab/Fox News]

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