The University of Idaho has decided to halt the demolition of the residence where four students were tragically murdered, stating that it is the appropriate course of action at this time. In a memorandum released on Wednesday, University of Idaho President C. Scott Green made this announcement.
The demolition of the home at the heart of the University of Idaho murder case has been temporarily suspended.
The off-campus apartment gained significant attention when the bodies of Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were discovered inside the premises on November 13. Their deaths were officially classified as homicides, leading to an extensive investigation and the subsequent arrest of Bryan Kohberger.
Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old former Ph.D. criminology student at Washington State University, was taken into custody on December 30 and charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary in connection with the killings.
While a trial against Kohberger is set to commence in October, as reported by CBS News, University of Idaho President C. Scott Green, in a memorandum released on Wednesday, stated that the residence where the tragedy occurred will remain untouched for the time being.
Green explained, “We will reconsider this decision in October. There is no legal obligation to keep the house standing — both the prosecution and defense have relinquished any interest in the house for their respective cases. We still fully intend to demolish the house, which was generously donated to the university by its previous owner. However, at present, we believe it is prudent to leave the house as is.”
Green further mentioned that the necessary remediation of the house, which involves addressing issues such as lead and asbestos, will continue.
“In the interim, we can focus on other aspects of healing,” he shared. “All personal belongings of the students who resided there have been removed, and families will soon have the opportunity to retrieve their loved ones’ possessions to the extent they desire.”
Describing the decision as “challenging,” the university president reflected on the significance of the residence as “a stark reminder of what has been lost.”
“We have lost our innocence and our sense of security,” he expressed. “We have come to realize that malevolence can visit our community, and we have bid farewell to four brilliant souls from our Vandal Family.”