Tech advancements cause unraveling of mystery


Security cameras. Internet video streams. Cellphone towers.

In the days after four college students were stabbed to death in their Moscow, Idaho, rental home in the early hours of Nov. 13, police traced the digital footprint of the victims and the man accused of killing them in exhaustive detail

Authorities tracked down the suspect’s car in his college parking lot, backtracked his cellphone’s movements for six months, and even figured out exactly what time one of the victims was using TikTok on her phone, court records show. They used a video stream from a food truck to help determine where two of the victims had been earlier, and phone records to figure out who gave them a ride home.

While investigators worked long hours to crack the case, technology sped things along dramatically, including thousands of digital uploads processed by the FBI. Without a murder weapon, motive or anyone seeing the killer’s face, authorities were able to make extraordinary use of advancements in technology to piece together the mystery surrounding who they say killed University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Xana Kernodle, 20 — an act of violence that upended the small college town. 


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