The coroner handling the University of Idaho student murders has come under fire for allegedly relaying horror victims about the murders to the victim’s teenage sister Kaylee Goncalves.
Kaylee’s mother, Kristi Goncalves, shared her anguish over the case in an interview with The Today Show on Thursday, more than a month after her daughter was stabbed to death alongside friends Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin at an off-campus house in Moscow, Idaho on November 13.
Ms Goncalves revealed that some of the most gruesome details the family knows about the case came from a conversation between her youngest daughter, 17, and Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt.
Earlier this week, Kaylee’s father, Steve Goncalves, described how the coroner told the family the victims were suffering from “large open gashes”.
Ms Mabbutt had given this description to Kaylee’s little sister over the phone, Ms Goncalves said.
“[Ms Mabbutt] asked him, ‘Are you sure you want to know that?’ And my daughter, thinking she did, for some reason, said ‘yes’,” Ms Goncalves said. “And she started telling him.”
Describing the conversation with Ms Mabbutt to Fox News earlier this week, Mr Goncalves said the coroner told the family: ‘I don’t think stabbing is the right word, it was like tears, like it’s It was a powerful weapon, not like a stab.”
“She said it was fast. It wasn’t something where you were going to be able to call 911. They weren’t going to bleed slowly,” he added.
Mr. Goncalves told Fox that Ms. Mabbutt “embellished a lot of things, like her own assumptions about what happened and her theory of things.”
Media appearances by Ms Mabbutt revealing sensitive information – in stark contrast to calls by the Moscow Police Department for the public to understand that details of the investigation are being withheld to protect its integrity – have been the focus of criticism.
At the start of the inquest, the coroner called the killings “personal” and revealed the victims were found in their beds and were likely sleeping when they were attacked.
“It was not just surprising but aggravating,” Joseph Giacalone, a 20-year police veteran and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told Fox News a few weeks ago. “It’s not for her to investigate this thing on TV and speculate.”
Nearly five weeks after the murders, the perpetrator of the brutal crime remains at large, with the Goncalves family fearing the crime remains unsolved.
Amid growing criticism from victims’ families and the public that too little information is being shared about the case, Moscow police have reiterated their commitment to maintaining the integrity of the investigation and only releasing details. that do not interfere with the investigation.
Moscow Police Captain Roger Lanier said police “have a lot of information” they choose not to release to the public.
“We are not releasing specific details as we do not want to jeopardize this investigation,” he said in a video statement. “We owe it to the families and we owe it to the victims. We want more than just an arrest, we want a conviction.
The department said in a news release Thursday that investigators were sorting through 22,000 registered 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantras that matched search criteria for a car seen near the murder home at 1122 King Road on the night of the murders.
Authorities have asked anyone with information to submit tips at fbi.gov/moscowidaho or [email protected]