The Moscow Police Department should relinquish control of the University of Idaho murders investigation, a former FBI agent has told The Post — as the one month anniversary of the slaying passes with the killer still at-large.

“I think the Moscow Police Department is in over its head. I think they’re drowning,” Pete Yachmetz, a security consultant and former FBI agent, told The Post. “They don’t have the resources to properly address this type of crime.”

The tiny police department, which has around 60 staff and in 2019 boasted just 37 sworn-in police officers is still leading the investigation, but has failed to produce a suspect, release a profile of the killer or give more than basic information about the case, attracting criticism from some victim’s families.

The force’s six detectives are being backed up by 46 FBI investigators, 13 Idaho State Police investigators and 15 of its uniformed staff.

“I think it might be time for them to relinquish the lead agency designation,” Yachmetz said. “The lead agency is the one who makes all the determinations for how the investigation progresses.

“Of course, coming from my background I think the Bureau might have better resources to address it,” the former FBI agent said. 

Pete Yachmetz at his desk.
Former FBI agent Pete Yachmetz thinks the local police are in over their heads.
Moscow, Idaho, Police Chief James Fry
Moscow, Idaho, Police Chief James Fry has insisted the month-old case is not going “cold.”
James Keivom

Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death in the early hours of Nov. 13

Steve Goncalves, the father of Kaylee, has repeatedly slammed how the police are handling the case and recently called them “cowards” for not releasing more information to the public.  

“I got outraged by them not just coming out and saying this was a woman or a man because they should know by the amount of strength it took to deliver the injuries,” Goncalves recently tod Fox, adding: “They’re just being cowards. There are girls walking around the street right now that deserve to know, they should be looking out for a sadistic male.”

Pictured just hours before their untimely deaths are Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right.
Pictured just hours before their untimely deaths are Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right.

Police have repeatedly said the dearth of public information is intentional and will protect the integrity of the case — but four weeks after the heinous murders, public confidence is slipping.

Still, Moscow cops put the tight-knit even more on edge after they warned residents ahead of mid-year graduation that the killer could strike again.

“I don’t think that was appropriate,” Yachmetz said of police’s comments over the weekend.



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