The coroner has revealed that the four University of Idaho students who were found slashed in an off-campus home were stabbed to death while in bed — and likely were asleep when they were attacked.
Lata County District Attorney Kathy Mabbott has provided shocking new details as the killer or killers remain at large and the “big knife” used to slaughter the four undergraduates has yet to be recovered by police.
“It was late at night or early in the morning, so it seems likely that they were asleep,” Mabbutt said.
The coroner did not say if the four victims were found in separate areas, but confirmed that the bodies were found in the beds.
“There were multiple stab wounds on them and most of them had only one wound, which was the fatal stab wound. The killers were in the chest area, the upper body,” Mabbott said.
“It was a very large knife so it is really difficult to call it puncture wounds. They were definitely stab wounds and someone must have been very angry in order to stab four people to death.”
Mabbott said autopsies conducted on the four University of Idaho students who were slain showed that the killings were “personal.”
Some of the wounds in the bloody attack were likely defensive, said Mabute, adding that he did not know who was attacked first.
She told KXLY there were no signs of sexual assault in the home off campus on King Road where the students were massacred.
Mabbott said there was “a fair amount of blood” at the scene, adding that in her 16 years on the job, she had never dealt with such a horrific case where four college students were killed in one place.
She added, “I don’t think I was killed again by my stabbing.”
The murders of Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Maugin, 21, Zana Kernodel, 20, and Kylie Goncalves, 21, have left the school community reeling – with police describing the crime scene as “the worst they’ve ever seen.”
Kernodale’s father said he believes the autopsy results show she fought her killer to the end.
“Bruised by a knife. She’s a tough kid. Whatever she wants to do, she can do,” Jeffrey Kernodel told the Arizona family.
Jeffrey said he last heard from Zana, who was from Avondale, Arizona, at midnight Sunday that “she was fine.”
“They were hanging out at home. Zana was hanging out at home with her boyfriend,” he told the news outlet, referring to Chapin.
“She and Ethan had been together for about a year, give or take. And she, really, when I got up there, I saw her just a week before that and she had changed so much. She had a life. I got to see what it was like,” said the devastated father. When you have a friend to live with.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of people held a vigil at Boise State University Thursday night to commemorate the dead students.
“Today I wear the black and gold colors of the University of Idaho,” Idaho State University President Marilyn Trump told the crowd.
“Today, our longstanding rivalry is set aside. Today, we come together to create a light in a painful and dark time. We are all vandals. Ethan. Zana. Madison. Kylie. We will remember,” she said.
One of the attendees read a statement on behalf of a female student who was said to be a friend of the three female victims.
“I remember jumping on trampolines and watching MTV Cribs at Kaylee’s house, watching reality TV and trying on makeup at Maddie’s,” the friend named Carly wrote. “They are people who shaped who I am today at key years of my life, and I will always think fondly of the friendships I had with them.”
Remember BSU student Trevor Drummond Kernodle, whom he met in junior high.
“Zana, you’ve treated me like you’ve been part of a friend group for years,” said the statesman.
“I don’t think there’s anyone out there who is as outgoing, fun, or loving as she is. Whenever we hung out, she always made sure that the others around her were having more fun than she was.”
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission
Originally published as Shocking new details revealed in autopsy of brutal student massacre in Idaho