MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Police are investigating the deaths of four University of Idaho students found Sunday in a home near the campus.
Officers with the Moscow Police Department discovered the deaths when they responded to a report of an unconscious person just before noon, according to a press release from the city.
Police have called the deaths suspected homicides, a legal term that doesn’t necessarily suggest the deaths were intentional.
Authorities did not release additional details, including the cause of death. Police said more information would be shared once family members were notified of the deaths.
“It is with deep sadness that I share with you that the university was notified today of the death of four University of Idaho students living off-campus believed to be victims of homicide,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday night. “Out of respect for these fellow Vandals, classes statewide and online are canceled Monday, Nov. 14.”
The university said counselors would be available for students at the campus counseling center, while employees could access assistance through an employee assistance program. Green urged people to reach out if they were concerned about classmates or coworkers.
“An event of this magnitude can understandably have significant impacts on those left behind,” Green wrote. “As Vandals, we must come together and lift each other up.”
Shortly after the bodies were found, the university advised students to shelter in place for about an hour until investigators determined there was no active threat to others in the region.
The Moscow Police Department said the investigation was ongoing and asked people with information to call the department.
The city of Moscow is a close-knit college town nestled in the rolling hills of north-central Idaho, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Spokane, Washington.
U.S Representative Mike Simpson wrote on Twitter that he and his wife, Kathy Simpson, were sending their deepest condolences to the students‘ families.
“Our hearts ache for your loss,” Simpson wrote. “Today we are all Vandals.”
Shortly after Moscow police announced the death investigation, students at the University of Virginia were also told to shelter in place after police said a suspect gunned down fellow students on a bus as they returned from a school field trip. The shooting left three members of the school’s football team dead and two students injured. The shooting touched off an intense manhunt Sunday, and authorities announced Monday that a suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been apprehended.