The autopsies performed on the four Idaho students who were brutally murdered on Sunday revealed that the killings were "personal" and all had been stabbed multiple times with a long and wide knife. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt said on Thursday that the four students were stabbed to death while in bed — and it's "likely" they were asleep when attacked.
The father of one of the victims also said that the body of his daughter suggested that she tried to fight till the end but couldn't save herself.
Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were all brutally stabbed to death at a house in Moscow, Idaho by a yet-unidentified killer who is still at large. The killings have left the college and the community shocked, with terrified students fleeing the campus.
Gruesome New Details
The cause of death of all four students was determined to be murder by stabbing by Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt on Thursday. "It would have had to been a large knife," she told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News about the murder weapon, which police has still not been able to find.
Mabbutt also said that the autopsies suggest that the early Sunday attacks were "personal," according to Idaho News, which cited a CBS report.
Moreover, she believes that the four students were attacked when they were sleeping. "It was late at night or early in the morning so it seems likely maybe they were sleeping," Mabbutt told host Ashleigh Banfield on NewsNation's "Banfield".
According to Mabbutt, some of the children sustained defensive wounds. However, none had been sexually assaulted before being killed. The coroner also said that it was unknown who among the four – Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin -- was attacked first.
The coroner verified that the bodies were discovered in beds but would not disclose whether the four victims were found in separate locations. According to Mabbutt, the victims' upper bodies and chests were the targets of the stabbings.
She told KXLY that each victim was stabbed multiple times. A "fair amount of blood" was present at the scene, according to Mabbutt, who also stated that in her 16 years of employment, she had never dealt with a situation as horrifying as four college students being killed in one location.
The coroner did not elaborate on why she thought the killings were "personal
, but added that she does not believe it was a murder-suicide, and that the toxicology results for each victim will be irrelevant.
"There's quite a bit of blood in the apartment and it was a pretty traumatic scene to find four dead college students in a residence," she said earlier this week in an interview with KXLY.
"I don't think I've had another death by stabbing," she added.
Goriest of the Gory
The murder weapon has not been located yet and there is no evidence that police have a suspect at this time. Prosecutors stated earlier this week that they have not even been able to determine if the attack was carried out by one or more people.
Authorities have been trying to piece together the four's final hours as they say they were murdered sometime overnight Saturday or early Sunday.
Jake Schriger, Maddie's boyfriend, is not believed to have been present when Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Xana's boyfriend Ethan Chapin were all killed. Jake's whereabouts on Sunday when his fiancée was killed are unknown, as is whether or not he has been questioned by authorities.
According to his mother Stacy, who spoke to The New York Post, Maddie was supposed to accompany him home for Thanksgiving.
"Her and Jake were like peanut butter and jelly. We were expecting her for Thanksgiving. Whenever we talked on the phone, she always said I love you," she said.
Madison and Jake had just recently gone to a formal together. Jake has not yet commented in the media regarding the passing of his girlfriend.
It comes as Xana's father, Jeffrey, said his daughter died fighting for her life. "Bruises, torn by the knife. She's a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it," Jeffrey Kernodle told Arizona's Family.
Xana, who was from Avondale, Arizona, last spoke to Jeffrey at midnight on Sunday, and that "she was fine." "They were just hanging out at home. Xana was just hanging out at home with her boyfriend," he told the outlet, referring to Chapin.
"Her and Ethan were together about a year, give or take. And she, really, when I went up there she, I saw her just a week before that and she changed a lot. She had a life. She got to see what it was like to have a boyfriend you live with," he added.
Meanwhile, police also revealed on Thursday that there were two other students in the house at the time of the murders who survived. They have been identified as Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, according to DailyMail.com.
Meanwhile, the two survivors of the deadly attack are assisting police with their investigation, according to Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the Idaho State Police, who spoke to outlet. However, he declined to elaborate on how they managed to survive or whether Dylan or Bethany dialed 911 later on Sunday morning.
The two are not suspects, he added, but the investigation team, which now includes investigators from the Idaho State Police, the FBI, and the Moscow Police Department, is looking into every option.