'Campus is a ghost town': Returning Idaho student describes 'fear' among roommates

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A university campus has turned into a “ghost town” gripped by “a sense of fear” after an unidentified killer stabbed to death four students.

Grace Giger, a student at the University of Idaho, has told Express.co.uk many of her peers have not returned following the Thanksgiving holiday, opting instead to attend classes remotely.

It has been nearly three weeks since Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death in their beds as they slept at an off-campus house after a night out.

Police have yet to name a suspect or motive – meaning the killer remains at large.

Grace, who is in the second-year of her degree in English Education and Spanish, said there “has definitely been a noticeable difference on campus these past few weeks”.

She told Express.co.uk: “Many students have not returned or are attending online – walking to class can feel like campus is a ghost town.

“However, those of us who are still here seem to be making efforts to find community and maintain routines the best we can.”

Grace is still attending classes in person and lives just a few miles from campus.

She described how her roommates are being “more cautious than ever” and avoiding being outdoors in the dark.

READ MORE: Police seize five cars from crime scene of four murdered students

“There is definitely a sense of fear that me and my roommates share, and we are being more cautious than ever before – making sure to never let each other walk anywhere alone and being extra vigilant,” the sophomore student, a reporter at university newspaper Argonaut, explained.

She has stopped working night shifts to avoid being exposed to any threats at night in the small city of Moscow, which has a population of 25,850. It had not recorded a single murder since 2015 until last month.

“It is unsettling to be out at night now, and I actually dropped some of my night shifts for the following weeks so that I could always be home before dark,” Grace said. “The University and City of Moscow have upped security so I know there is most likely know threat but it is still unsettling to be alone in light of this loss.”

Police and FBI continue to comb the area in search for clues following the quadruple killing on November 13 at 3am.

Officers were seen towing away five vehicles from the house on Tuesday.

On November 15, police said they “believe this was an isolated, targeted attack and there is no imminent threat to the community at large”.

On Thursday, they clarified this point, describing it as “a targeted attack”,
while adding that they “have not concluded if the target was the residence or its occupants”.

Those attending the university – which has around 11,000 students enrolled – were offered the option to work remotely instead of returning in person for classes after Thanksgiving.

Staff said each student’s “idea, concern and fear has been heard and considered”, adding that remote learning options have been provided for those that feel unsafe returning to campus.

A statement said: “We have heard from many of you about how you hope we will proceed as a university after Fall Break.

“Moving courses fully online is not preferred but may be necessary in limited situations. Students, your faculty will communicate course options soon.”



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