The rental home where four University of Idaho students were found dead in November will be demolished, school officials said.
University President Scott Green said in a post on the school’s website Friday that the owner of the house, located in the nearby city of Moscow, offered to give it to the university, which will have it torn down.
“This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed,” the post states. “Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene.”
The deaths of four students — 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen and 20-year-olds Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin — in the home shook the university campus and led police on a weeks-long search for a suspect.
Authorities eventually arrested 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger, a graduate student at Washington State University, in late December. He has been charged with first-degree murder and burglary, and investigators believe he broke into the house with the intent to kill and stabbed the four to death.
His DNA was found at the crime scene on a knife sheath near one of the student’s beds, police have said.
Green said the university is starting plans to build a memorial for the four students as part of a “healing garden,” which will be designed as a place to remember other students who the community has lost over the years.
He said scholarships have been established in honor of Mogen, Kernodle and Chapin, and officials are working with Goncalves’s family to establish one for her too. The scholarships will be intended to support students in their education at the university.
“We will never forget Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee, and I will do everything in my power to protect their dignity and respect their memory. Together we will rebuild and continue to support each other. We are #vandalstrong,” Green said, referring to the university’s moniker.
Kohberger is set to face a preliminary hearing in June.