The father of University of Idaho homicide victim Xana Kernodle, Jeff Kernodle, said his daughter had “bruises” on her body that indicated she had put up a good fight with her attacker in an interview with an Arizona news outlet.
Xana Kernodle, 20, was murdered in the early hours of November 13, along with her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, and two friends, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, at a home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, near the university. . Police have not named any suspects or motives as of Thursday.
“Bruises, torn from the knife,” Jeff Kernodle told Arizona news outlet 3TV/CBS 5, adding that his injuries showed signs of fighting off his attacker. “She is a tough girl. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it.”
He also told the outlet that the door to his house “locks with a numerical code.”
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“Every time you go you have to go around the house because of the number code, so they either knew or they went around and maybe they found the sliding door open,” Kernodle told the outlet.
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The head of the Moscow Police Department, James Fry, said during a press conference on Wednesday that there were no signs of forced entry in the house when they initially responded to reports of an unconscious person at 11:58 a.m. on November 13. . Police found the four victims, all University of Idaho students and members of Greek life at the school: stabbed to death inside the home.
The Latah County Coroner revealed Thursday that the victims’ manner of death was homicide/murder and their cause of death was stabbing.
He also said that Xana was in contact with her family before the attack. She and Ethan went to a party on the night of November 12 while Mogen and Goncalves were at a bar. It is unclear if the victims walked home or were given a ride.
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Police say the victims arrived home around 1:45 a.m. The slayings occurred around 3 or 4 a.m., authorities said during a news conference Wednesday.
“I heard from her, I think before she came out,” Kernodle told 3 TV/CBS 5. “I think midnight was the last time we heard from her and she was fine.”
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He described Xana as responsible and unconcerned with drama or material things. She and Chapin had been in a relationship for about a year, she said.
“[W]When I went there, I saw her just a week before and she changed a lot,” Kernodle told the outlet. “I had a life. He got to see what it was like to have a boyfriend you live with. And she really turned around. She was really responsible. Helping him with his studies and stuff. She was really impressed.”
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Moscow police have teamed up with state and federal law enforcement officers to try to track down a suspect.
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A lots of students left campus early before the Thanksgiving holiday after the tragedy.
Authorities urge anyone with information about the killings or the whereabouts of the victims the night before the attack to contact Moscow police at 208-883-7054.