Police investigating the fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students deny a professor’s involvement in the cold case after a self-described internet detective and a tarot card reader posted allegations on TikTok claiming a connection.
“At this point in the investigation, detectives do not believe that the associate professor and head of the University of Idaho history department who sued a TikTok user for defamation is involved in this offence,” Moscow police said Tuesday. , Idaho.
The police statement in defense of the teacher, Rebecca Scofield, is just the latest attempt by investigators to crack down on the unsubstantiated allegations and distractions that have sprung up in the absence of an arrest following the discovery of the murders on November 13.
In an attempt to clear his name, Scofield filed a federal lawsuit last week against Ashley Guillard, the Texas woman who posted allegations on TikTok that the professor masterminded the murders with another University of Idaho student.
Guillard’s TikTok account, titled «Ashley Solves Mysteries,» has more than 110,000 followers and includes dozens of videos about her thoughts on the case and names Scofield, as well as the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims.
Responding to Moscow police saying Scofield had no connection to the slayings, Guillard told NBC News she remains committed to speaking out about what she believes happened.
The police statement “makes it clear to me that I am needed to help solve this case,” Guillard said in an email. «The lawsuit is essential because it gives me a legal basis to cite empirical evidence.»
The TikTok videos began appearing on the platform on November 24 and have been viewed millions of times, according to Scofield’s lawsuit, which says Guillard claims to solve high-profile murders using Tarot cards and «performing other readings.»
Scofield started working at the university in 2016 and never met the slain students nor did any of them take a class with her, according to the lawsuit. She says she was with her husband in Portland, Oregon, visiting friends when the students were killed.
After a Scofield attorney sent Guillard a cease-and-desist letter on November 29, she continued to post what the lawsuit calls defamatory videos. After sending a second such letter on December 8, Guillard displayed the document in a TikTok video and said Scofield would have to «file actual legal documents in federal court» asking him to remove them, the lawsuit says.
The Moscow Police Department said in a press release on Tuesday that it would not comment on the litigation.
More Detailed Coverage of the Idaho Student Murders
Guillard doubled down on her claims in a video posted to TikTok on Sunday, telling followers she has physical evidence that validates «everything I’ve said about her, but I can’t talk about it right now because it has to wait for court.»
An attorney for Scofield said in a statement that the allegations made by Guillard have created «security concerns» for his client, who has had to install a security system at his home.
“They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing and undermine law enforcement efforts to find those responsible in order to provide answers to families and the public,” the statement said.
Authorities have not identified any suspects in the slayings of 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, who were found in an off-campus home the three girls shared. The weapon, which police believe to be a large knife, has also not been located.