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Police probe deaths of four University of Idaho students as homicides


(Reuters) -Police in northwestern Idaho have opened a homicide investigation into the deaths of four University of Idaho students whose bodies were found in a house near campus.

Officers found the four dead inside the home in Moscow, a city of 25,000 people in northwestern Idaho, after being called there for an unconscious individual shortly before noon on Sunday, the Moscow Police Department said in a statement.

Police said they had opened a homicide investigation, but released few details. They said no one was in custody and said they do not “believe there is an ongoing community risk.”

The university on Sunday had told students and staff to shelter in place and to stay away from the area soon after the bodies were found. The university of 6,800 students lifted the alert about three hours later, saying there was no ongoing threat.

The police identified those found dead as: Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Classes were canceled on Monday and were to resume on Tuesday at the university, school officials said.

The incident came hours before a shooting at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville left three people dead and two wounded.