Families of Idaho student murder victims step in over plan to demolish crime scene

Objections over the demolition of the off-campus University of Idaho home where four students were brutally murdered in November have been raised, claiming the university is disregarding the families' request to leave the home standing.

"The university asked for the families’ opinions on the demolition and then proceeded to ignore those opinions and pursue their own self-interests," Shanon Gray, an attorney for the family of Kaylee Goncalves, one of the stabbing victims, told the Idaho Statesman in an email. "The home itself has enormous evidentiary value as well as being the largest, and one of the most important, pieces of evidence in the case."

The owner of the property donated the home to the University of Idaho following the killings, with the school announcing its demolition plans earlier this year. A memorial garden is planned to be constructed somewhere on campus, with its exact location not yet made public.

"The owner of the King Street house offered to give the house to the university, which we accepted," University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement at the time. "The house will be demolished. This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed."


Work crews are parked outside 1122 King Road in Moscow, Idaho on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. The property was slated for demolition after the landlord donated it to the University of Idaho following the Nov. 13, 2022 murders of students Madison Mogen, 21

A concrete date for the planned demolition has yet to be announced; however, work crews were photographed entering and exiting the King Road home last Tuesday. University spokesperson Jodi Walker told the Statesman via email the school wants to remove the house from the property by Aug. 21, when students return to campus for their fall semester.

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"Our focus right now is on removing the personal items and making those available to the families," Walker told the Statesman. "We know that these items are extremely important and care needs to be taken to ensure they can retrieve the items of their loved ones. This will take some time."

The six-bedroom rental home was once a staple in the university's Greek Life scene, situated near a row of fraternity and sorority houses, which are all on school property.

Goncalves, along with Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle all died from multiple stab wounds on Nov. 13, 2022, according to the Latah County coroner, Cathy Mabbutt. Some of them may have been sleeping at the start of the brutal attack.

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The house has been under 24-hour surveillance for more than six months, and authorities eventually boarded up the windows and installed temporary fencing around the property.


General view of the house at 1122 King Road, Moscow, Idaho, on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The home is boarded up following the murder of four students here in November last year. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

The suspect, Bryan Kohberger, was a 28-year-old Ph.D. student studying criminology at Washington State University, which is approximately 10 miles away.

Kohberger is now facing four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge, with his trial slated for October 2. Trial proceedings could take up to six weeks.

Kohberger is currently being held without bail at the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho.

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Fox News Digital reached out to the University of Idaho and Gray for additional comment but did not immediately hear back.

Fox News' Michael Ruiz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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