University of Idaho homicide victim Xana Kernodle’s father, Jeff Kernodle, said his daughter had “bruises” on her body indicative of putting up a good fight with her attacker in an interview with an Arizona news outlet.
Xana Kernodle, 20, was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 — along with her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, and two friends, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves — in a home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, near the university. Police have not mentioned any suspects or a motive as of Thursday.
“Bruises, torn by the knife,” Jeff Kernodle told Arizona news outlet 3TV/ CBS 5, adding that her injuries showed signs of putting up a fight against her attacker. “She’s a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it,”
He also told the outlet that the door to their home “locks with a number code.”
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“Every time you go, you have to go around the house because of the number code so they either knew that or went around and maybe found the slider door open,” Kernodle told the outlet.
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Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry said during a Wednesday press conference that there were no signs of forced entry at the house when they initially responded to reports of an unconscious person at 11:58 a.m. on Nov. 13. Police found the four victims — all University of Idaho students and members of Greek life at the school — stabbed to death inside the home.
The Latah County coroner on Thursday revealed the victims’ manner of death as homicide/murder and their cause of death as stabbing.
He also said Xana was in contact with her family before the attack. She and Ethan went to a party on the night of Nov. 12 while Mogen and Goncalves were out at a bar. It is unclear if the victims walked home or got a ride.
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Police say the victims arrived home around 1:45 a.m. The murders occurred around 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., authorities said during the Wednesday press conference.
“I heard from her I think before we went out,” Kernodle told 3 TV/ CBS 5. “I think midnight was the last time we heard from her and she was fine.”
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He described Xana as responsible and unworried about drama or material things. She and Chapin had been in a relationship for about a year, he said.
“[W]hen I went up there she, I saw her just a week before that and she changed a lot,” Kernodle told the outlet. “She had a life. She got to see what it was like to have a boyfriend you live with. And she really turned around. She was really responsible. Helping him out with his studies and stuff. I was really impressed,”
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Moscow police have teamed up with state and federal law enforcement officers to try and track down a suspect.
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Many students left campus early before Thanksgiving break after the tragedy.
Authorities are imploring anyone with information about the murders or the victims’ whereabouts on the evening before the attack to contact the Moscow police at 208-883-7054.