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Locks on Idaho college house were fixed weekend before killings, victim’s mom says

One of the four slain University of Idaho students had her father visit and fix a lock in the house the weekend before she and her friends were brutally murdered, her mother said in a new interview.

Xana Kernodle’s father had visited and fixed a lock on the house during a visit the first week of November, her mom Cara Denise Northington told NewsNation Friday.

The distraught mother wasn’t sure whether the updated lock was on the Moscow home’s front door or on Kernodle’s bedroom — each of the six bedrooms has its own coded lock — but was certain Kernodle’s father had tinkered with one just before the quadruple murder.

A knife-wielding mystery killer brutally stabbed to death Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves early Nov. 13.

The locks may be a clue as to who the killer could be, Northington said.

“I think they knew them,” Northington said of her daughter’s killer. “I think they may have even been friends with them. I think it had to have been somebody close to them to have been able to get away with it like this.”

Xana Kernodle, right, and Ethan Chapin.

“It just doesn’t make sense. None of this makes sense. It had to have been somebody they trusted.”

Police have theorized that a stalker chasing Goncalves may be the culprit, but Northington believes the crime goes “much deeper.”

Officials recently walked back on their theory that the victims were targeted, but Northington remains confident that the four students were picked by their murderer because of their close relationship to one another.

The grieving mother fought back tears during the nearly 20-minute interview, where she made several complaints that police were withholding information.

Here’s the latest coverage on the brutal killings of four college friends:

“I learned more on the news and on TV than they have said to me,” Northington said.

“I think they have information that they’re not giving us. And it’s real fishy. That’s what I will say.”

Goncalves’ family also complained to NewsNation Friday that police were not being forthcoming with the families of the victims. Goncalves’ mother raised concern that officials are clearing people connected to the killings too quickly.

“A few of the names that have been circulating around, I think it’s hard not to dig into this and I don’t know how much of that is we have so little information from law enforcement, and how much of it is really a sister or a father’s intuition,” said Alivea Goncalves, Kaylee’s sister. 

Goncalves' family has expressed that the state police haven't been open with them about the ongoing investigation into the murders.
James Keivom

“I just feel like there’s been a couple individuals that were cleared very fast that maybe should not have been,” said Kristi Goncalves, Kaylee’s mother. 

Police have said they cleared several people, including the person who made the 911 call, two roommates who lived in the house but were unharmed and another whose name is on the lease.