Idaho victim's mom wants to raise money for reward to catch killer

Mother of Idaho murder victim plans to raise her OWN reward money for information to help catch killer who slayed four university students – as the investigation enters its fifth week

  • The mother of one of the four University of Idaho students says she wants to raise money to offer as a reward to help catch her child’s killer
  • In a new interview, Kristi Goncalves said she hopes to offer a reward and hire a private investigator to look into the murder of Kaylee Goncalves, 21
  • The news comes as the investigation into the murder of Kaylee, Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 enters its fifth week
  • The college students were found brutally slain in their off-campus home on November 13, each having been stabbed multiple times 
  • Investigators have gone back and forth on whether or not the group was targeted and there still appear to be no suspects or sign of the murder weapon 

The mother of one of the murdered University of Idaho students says she is looking to raise money to offer a reward for any information leading to a break in the case. 

In a new interview, Kristi Goncalves, the mother of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, said she is looking to fundraise to help bring her daughter’s killer to justice. 

‘Our family would like to fundraise in hopes to offer a reward, and possibly hire a private investigator if that becomes necessary,’ Kristi told Fox News Digital. 

The mother’s fundraising attempt comes as the investigation into the deaths of Kaylee, her two roommates, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Xana’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, remains unsolved as it enters its fifth week.

The four were murdered at their Moscow, Idaho, home in mid-November.

Kristi Goncalves, Kaylee’s mother, said in a recent interview she is hoping that they can raise money to offer a reward and hire a private investigator to bring the group’s killer to justice

Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Maddie Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin

The family is using both GoFundMe and GiveSendGo to raise money for a reward and a private investigator. 

Similar campaigns created in honor of Kernodle, Chapin, and Mogen have raised more than $160,000 cumulatively. 

While speaking with Fox News Digital, the grieving mother said that in addition to raising money for the private investigator and reward, the family will also use a portion of any funds raised to pay for their daughter’s funeral services. 

‘The money raised will go directly to getting us answers as well as helping to pay for Kaylee’s final arrangements and her celebration of life on Dec. 30,’ Kristi said.

As of Monday, the GiveSendGo fundraiser organized by a family friend had reached just under $5,000 of its $20,000. 

‘Kaylee’s family deserves to know the truth about that dreadful night. They stress that this absolutely can not become a cold case, so we need everyone who is on board with this, to donate here, in order to make sure this does not happen,’ the GiveSendGo campaign’s description reads. 

Steve Goncalves (left) and Kristi Goncalves (right) continue to grieve the death of their daughter, Kaylee, who was murdered on November 13 in Moscow, Idaho

One fundraiser for Maddie and Kaylee has raised more than $60,000 for the slain students 

The Goncalves family is not staying silent but rather fighting with everything in them to find this killer and get justice,’ the description for the fundraiser continues. 

When asked by reporters why local police investigating the case aren’t offering a reward, one official said the department is already receiving tips on a steady basis. 

‘Investigators continue to get good tips and leads and are focusing on those at this time,’ police spokeswoman Robbie Johnson said. 

Other investigators and crime experts, however, say they believe that a reward being offered early is important, especially as officers and detectives are removed from the case as time goes on. 

‘I would give out the reward now while they still have personnel,’ said Paul Mauro, a lawyer and retired NYPD inspector who spoke with Fox. 

The fundraiser set up by the Sigma Chi Gamma Eta fraternity for Ethan Chapin has raised more than $55,000

Xana Kernodle’s GoFundMe has exceeded its goal by more than $25,000

One donor gave $3,000 to this GoFundMe set up for Madison and Kaylee’s families

A friend of Kaylee’s family has also set up a GiveSendGo page to help raise money for a reward and a private investigator to look into the murders

‘When it starts to dwindle is no time to put out a reward. You won’t have the bodies to investigate the tips,’ Mauro continued. 

Pat Diaz, a private investigator and former Miami-Dade homicide detective, also said the situation requires just one really good tip to break the case wide open. 

‘One lucky lead, with all these sleuths out there, is gonna help you solve the case,’ he told Fox News Digital.

The latest from Kaylee’s mom comes just days after law enforcement agents issued a ‘be on the lookout’ for a vehicle seen at the scene of the crime. 

Customs and Border Protection made the announcement Friday, telling agents to be wary of a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elentra with unknown plates, sharing these stock images. They were asked for help by cops in Moscow, the sleepy border town where the murders transpired

Customs and Border Protection announced Friday they are searching for a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elentra with an unknown license plate.

The announcement came shortly after cops in the town of Moscow said they were searching for the four-seat sedan, which was spotted in the immediate area of the home where the students were killed.

Cops in Moscow, Idaho have instructed students to be on the lookout not only for the vehicle but for any unusual activity or suspicious persons. 

Police have yet to identify a suspect at this time or recover the murder weapon, believed to be a fixed-blade knife. The motive for the murders also is unknown. 

Law enforcement has faced heavy criticism for their ‘fruitless’ efforts when it comes to locating the murderer of the four students, despite thousands of tips from the public. 

The car was see ‘in the vicinity’ of King Street in the early morning hours of November 13, while the killings were carried out shortly before, sometime between 2 and 3 am, cops have said

The Moscow Police Department – and its chief James Fry – have seemingly failed to make any notable progress in the case, leaving them prime for widespread criticism nearly a month into in the highly publicized case, which has captivated arm-chair sleuths across the country 

As the case continues to make national headlines, police officials have maintained they are close to a breakthrough. 

‘We have a job to do, and we’re going to do it to the best of our ability. We owe this to the families, we owe this to the victims, we owe this to our community. We’re going to continue on,’ said Moscow Police Department Chief James Fry. 

‘We’re at that point in the investigation where we’re still gathering information, we’re still gathering tips, we’re still gathering evidence,’ Fry said in an earlier video statement released by the department.

Despite that information, the public has become increasingly concerned as the killer remains on the loose and the investigation, which has cost an estimated $1 million, appears to be stalled. 

Cops have gone back on forth on whether they believe the attack  was targeted 

Police said they received a call about an ‘unconscious person’ just before noon that day, when a friend thought at least one of the victims had passed out and would not wake up

Kaylee and Madison had spent the evening visiting a sports bar and food truck, while Xana and Ethan has visited Ethan’s fraternity house just a short walk away from Xana’s home

The Moscow Police Department, a relatively tiny 36-member force that is leading the complex investigation, said in a statement that personal items from the home will be transported to a secure storage location, where family members can view and retrieve them.

‘The house remains an active crime scene, and progress continues to be made in the investigation,’ the department said last week. 

‘Moscow Police and investigative partners continue to work with the victim’s families on the investigation and ongoing developments,’ the statement added.

In a recent statement, the department attempted to explain its silence concerning its progress with the case, asserting that ‘only vetted information that does not hinder the investigation will be released to the public.’

Before Steve Goncalves said Wednesday that his daughter Kaylee died in the same bed as Maddie, this is where it was believed the college students had died – however it is still not know which bedroom on the top floor they were in

Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor

‘There is speculation, without factual backing, stoking community fears and spreading false information,’ officers said.

In all, the department has said it has received 2,645 email tips and more than 2,770 calls to the tip hotline, as well as 1,084 digital media submissions to the FBI.

The FBI, which is assisting state and town police in the investigation, last week created a website where people can upload security camera footage or other digital media to further aid the force with their supposed search.

Investigators recently elaborated they are examining 113 pieces of physical evidence and about 4,000 crime scene photographs, but have still failed to air any leads or make any arrests.

The home continues to be treated as an active crime scene one month after the murders 

The four students were killed in the early hours of Sunday November 13

Investigators have inspected the house over and over again for evidence that may help them identify a suspect

Just last week, hundreds gathered at the University of Idaho in remembrance of the four victims, and after a heartfelt ceremony that saw the victims’ two surviving roommates – who were home but spared during the massacre – offer heartfelt tributes to the victims.

The pair, 19-year-olds Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke, had been sleeping on the first floor of the home when the late-night attack transpired, and was seemingly spared – while the four victims, who had been on the second and third floors, were stabbed to death.

Both offered touching tributes to their friends – with Funke tearfully remarking on how she wished she could give her roommates ‘one last hug’ and tell them how much she ‘loved them’ one last time.

Autopsies determined the four students were stabbed to death with a fixed-blade knife, with investigators subsequently checking with local stores to see if any had sold military-style knives recently.

Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (middle) lived in the modest Moscow rental house with fellow University of Idaho students Xana Kernodle (second from left) Kaylee Goncalves (second from right) and Madison Mogen (right)  but survived the attack. They have been ruled out as suspects

Moscow police were seen looking through the cordoned off bushes behind the home on King Road

Blood drips down the outside of the wall of the house the four students shared. Investigators describe it as the worst crime scene they have ever seen

Police have released statements revealing the movements of the victims on the night of the killing, in a plea for any information from the public.

Anyone with information on the murders is asked to reach out to the Moscow Police Department at the tip line at 208-883-7180 or to email [email protected]

Digital media can be submitted at 

Flowers and teddy bears  left near the University campus after four student were slain at home

The rumors surrounding the mysterious deaths of four University of Idaho students 

The victims were bound and gagged: FALSE  

Two other roommates survived the attack: TRUE

Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen lived in the house with the three female victims but miraculously survived the attack, only to find their friends dead the next morning.

Both girls had been out of town separately on Saturday night and returned home by around 1am – before the other four victims came home from a night out.

It took nine hours to call 911 about their deaths: TRUE

Police received a call at noon on November 13, and concluded that the four had been stabbed to death up to nine hours before, with the killing occurring between 3am to 4am that morning and there were no signs of forced entry.

Veteran Moscow police have described the scene as among the most gruesome and harrowing they have ever seen, with the victims left to bleed to death inside the house.

Officials arrived and discovered the additional victims and confirmed that anyone in the house when the 911 call was placed was not involved with the crime.

The incident is related to recent animal deaths in the area: FALSE 

 Moscow police say there is no reason to believe the deaths of the four college students is related to recent animal deaths in the area or to a dog found skinned from head to tail on October 21.  

The incident is related to similar unsolved stabbings nearby: FALSE 

Investigators have ruled that the quadruple murder is not tied to other knife stabbings in Idaho, Washington and Oregon — despite announcing last week that they were probing a possible link between the students’ deaths and a similar case in Oregon, where a husband and wife were stabbed in their beds by a crazed lunatic last year.

‘We don’t believe at this time … these murders are actually linked to two other knife murders that have occurred both in Pullman, [Washington] as well as Oregon,’ Idaho Police communication director Aaron Snell said, noting that police are ‘aware of these various reports’ and ‘looked into them.’

Ex-boyfriend Jack DeCoeur, 26, was a suspect: FALSE

Moscow Police have ruled out murder victim Kaylee Goncalves’ ex-boyfriend, Jack DeCoeur, 26, as a suspect in her murder and the deaths of Maddie Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

Goncalves’ parents, Steve and Kristi, said they stood by Jack ‘100 percent’ after it was revealed that Kaylee and Mogen had called him at least seven times before their deaths 

Kristi told Jones that she believes her daughter and Jack ‘would have eventually been married.’

‘They would have eventually had children,’ she said, explaining that the pair had dated for years and were on track to reconcile after spending some time apart.

‘We are supporting him, and we know in our hearts and our minds and our souls and the depths of our soul, Jack is hurting,’ she said.

Murder victim Kaylee Goncalves, 21, (right) and her ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur, 26, (left). Kaylee and her friend Maddie called Jack at least seven times in the hours before they were killed

The man seen talking to them at a food truck was a suspect: FALSE

Authorities have also ruled out a man who was seen speaking to Kaylee and Maddie at a food truck, which is where they were caught on surveillance footage for the last time alive. 

Officials say there may be multiple perpetrators responsible for the crime. 


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