(NewsNation) — Families continue to search for answers after four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death inside their home.
Police first spoke to the media three days after the bodies were found, retracting previous reports that there was no threat to the public. No suspects have been named by police.
Alivea Goncalves, sister of victim Kaylee Goncalves, said she doesn’t blame police for being overwhelmed, but noted that “we are wasting critical time” in the investigation.
From what Alivea understood about her sister’s life, there were never any threats. She said there’s no high-risk lifestyle that could explain this, and it caught her off guard.
“I don’t want to hinder anything. But I want more people to talk. And if that requires the police to push that agenda, that’s fine. But unfortunately, I feel like it’s been me and the families pushing that agenda. And that has been really difficult,” added Alivea.
Alivea said her sister was “ambitious” and “an absolute fighter,” and they have no idea why she was the target of such a brutal murder.
Alivea says she provided police with video of her sister in a food truck hours before she died, and identified one of the men in the background who she says is cooperating with police.
Police say Kaylee and her roommate Madison Mogen were at a party on campus while Xana Kernodle and freshman Ethan Chapin were at the downtown bar before coming home early Sunday morning and they were attacked around 3 am
A 911 call for an unconscious person came in at noon. Police say two other people were inside the apartment at the time.
“I know who they were, I haven’t talked to them. They were my sister’s roommates. Obviously, I know who she lived with. I’m thankful we didn’t lose more lives here,” Alivea said.
Officers did not identify a suspect or find a blade that was used to stab the students, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday. But the Idaho Statesman reported this week that police are looking for a military-style knife in connection with the murders.
Scott Jutte, general manager of Moscow Building Supply, told the newspaper that officers visited the store more than once to ask if it sold Ka-Bar brand knives. Ka-Bar, of Olean, New York, makes military-grade blades that were originally designed for use by US troops in World War II, the statesman said.
It’s these kinds of details that Alivea hopes will encourage someone to come forward so she can do her sister and her friends justice.
“We are losing critical time. I want more coverage, I want more done,” she said.
Grace Anderson, a high school friend of Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle, said it saddens her to speak on behalf of her friends, but hopes to share some positive things about them.
“I was lucky to have met these two beautiful girls, even though they were so much more than words can describe,” she said.
It is unclear if the victims knew the suspect. Police have said evidence found at the scene leads them to believe the students were attacked, though they have not provided details.
Xana was bubbly and fun, Anderson said.
“Xana was a light, and she was vivacious, soft-hearted,” she said.
Anderson said she didn’t know Kaylee as well as Xana, but she always visited her and made sure she felt “welcome and seen” when she went to college.
While a targeted attack is often an indication that the killer and the victim knew each other on some level, police have also said they have no idea who committed these crimes, so it could have been a stranger. Investigators say nothing appears to have been stolen from the victims or the home.
University of Idaho President Scott Green said the school will remain open the rest of the week because some students have found solace there among professors and classmates. But the school is also granting excused absences to anyone who feels more comfortable leaving early before the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
Associated Press contributed to this report.