Idaho college murders: Families of 2 slain students reserve right to sue Moscow, documents say
The families of two of the victims of the University of Idaho murders last fall have filed notices reserving their right to sue the city of Moscow, according to documents filed with the city.
Families of slain college students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, could seek damages from the city for the murders of their daughters, according to notices dated May 3 and May 11, respectively, and obtained by ABC . News.
The notices do not specify the type of complaint families can make. They say potential dollar figures for damages are “undetermined at this time.”
No lawsuit has yet been filed, but the claims protect the families’ rights to sue within two years, Shanon Gray, an attorney representing the Goncalves and Mogen families, told ABC News.
“Filing a notice of tort claim is really just a safeguard,” Gray said. “It’s a guarantee to protect the interests of families, victims and the whole surrounding community, because if something goes wrong or has been done wrong, someone is held accountable.”
Gray said he also filed notices of tort claims with the state of Washington as well as the state of Idaho.
“These are not intended to do anything other than protect the interests of families and victims in the future,” Gray said.
When he arrived on Monday evening, Moscow Mayor Art Bettge had no comment on the matter.
Goncalves and Mogen were among four university students, along with Xana Kernodle, 20, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, who were found stabbed to death in their off-campus home on November 13 by officers responding to places. After more than six weeks of tracking, the police focused on one suspect: Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old doctor of criminology. student at nearby Washington State University.
Kohberger was arrested Dec. 30 in Pennsylvania, after driving cross-country to spend the holidays at his family home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, a grand jury returned a multi-count indictment against Kohberger, including four counts of first-degree murder.
Kohberger remained silent during his arraignment on Monday. Second District Judge John Judge pleaded not guilty on his behalf.
Early in the investigation, Gray and the Goncalves families expressed frustration with the pace of the investigation and what they described as a lack of transparency.
In a mid-December interview on NBC, Gray asked if local police were “capable” of handling the quadruple homicide investigation and that they had done a “poor job” of releasing information to the family.
“If they’re in over their heads, then acknowledge it and hand over the investigation to someone who is more versed in handling these types of issues,” Gray said.
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