MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is not formally tracking the which students are returning to campus and which are not – and might have”specific privacy concerns” about releasing student information to police after the murders of four students near campus on Nov. 13, according to officials.
Idaho State Police (ISP) communications director Aaron Snell spoke to Fox News Digital on Wednesday, when he was asked if police had received information pertaining to the university students who chose to finish their semester remote, instead of returning to campus. While he said he was unsure “what information has gone back and forth between the school and the investigation,” he also added that the school has “specific privacy concerns.”
Snell said ISP does “work closely with the school. However, I think it’s safe to say — and this is a tiny bit of speculation — but they’re not going to violate the privacy of their students for the investigation.”
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Meanwhile, University of Idaho spokesperson Jodi Walker told Fox News Digital the school “is not tracking how individual students are finishing the semester” when asked whether the university has made police aware of any students who have not returned since the brutal murders of students Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Madison Mogen, 21.
“We are working with investigators to provide information they request,” she continued.
Snell added that the question of whether police and the school are coordinating efforts to look into certain students may not “adequately be answered in the public eye.”
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“But I think it’s very safe to say that the school takes the privacy of their students seriously, and they’re not going to violate that,” he said. “[There are] going to be no lines crossed to get information to officers and to detectives to make sure that this investigation goes.”
UI President Scott Green announced prior to Thanksgiving break that students would have the option of continuing classes virtually or in person for the remainder of the semester, as police have yet to name any suspects in the quadruple homicide that occurred between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on November 13.
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“We have heard from students with varied needs,” Green said in a Nov. 23 video. “Some are not comfortable being back in Moscow until a suspect is in custody. Others are asking for in-person classes and the structure that life on campus brings. To meet the needs of all of our students, we have asked our faculty to work with each student to complete the semester either in-person or remotely.”
It is unclear how many students opted not to return to campus since the murders and Thanksgiving break.
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Investigators have begun receiving evidence processed by a forensics lab and are looking into whether Goncalves may have had a stalker – a suggestion that they have so far been unable to corroborate. On Wednesday, they revealed the attack might not have been targeted, as investigators had originally indicated.
Police are asking anyone with information about to case to contact the tip line at 208-883-7180 or to email email@example.com.