The house in which four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last November in a case that stunned the US is fated for demolition, the school has announced.
In a statement on Friday, university officials said that the owner of the King Street house in Moscow, Idaho, where Xana Kernodle, 20; Ethan Chapin, 20; Maddie Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed has offered to give the house to the school.
The university in turn plans to demolish the house, a move which school president Scott Green has described as “a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed”.
“Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene,” he added. “We are evaluating options where students may be involved in the future development of the property.”
The university also announced that scholarships in memory of Kernodle, Chapin and Mogen have been established, adding that the school is in the process of working with Goncalves’s family so a fourth scholarship can be set up in her memory.
The Vandals Supporting Vandals fund is prepared to finance the scholarships. The fund, named after the university’s sports mascot, was set up by university alumni Gene Taft and Bob Urso, and Urso’s wife, Gail.
Planning is also under way to erect a memorial to the four slain students. According to the university, plans are for the memorial to “be a focal point of a garden … [which] will also be a place of remembrance of other students we have lost and a place of healing for those left behind”.
A university committee as well as student representatives are supposed to develop the garden’s design. The plan is for the garden to be up on the university’s Moscow campus, the university said, although its exact location has not yet been “identified”.
“Sometimes it is hard to see beyond this tragedy,” Green said. “But the selfless acts, the deep engagement and loving support of our entire Vandal Family reminds me that there is so much good in the world.
“We will never forget Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee, and I will do everything in my power to protect their dignity and respect their memory. Together we will rebuild and continue to support each other.”
After a cross-state manhunt involving cellphone tracking, the recovery of surveillance camera footage and DNA testing, police booked 28-year-old-Bryan Kohberger in the murders of Kernodle, Chapin, Mogen and Goncalves. Kohberger was studying criminology at nearby Washington State University at the time of his arrest on 30 December.
The murders to which Kohberger has been linked were discovered on 13 November.