Cara Denise Northington, mother of murder victim Xana Kernodle, revealed in a phone interview with NewsNation that her daughter’s father had worked on the locks at the home prior to the killings.
Speaking with anchor Ashleigh Banfield, Ms Northington said she believed her daughter’s bedroom door had a lock and the Jeff Kernodle had visited the Moscow, Idaho, house a week before Xana’s death to fix a lock.
It is unclear whether it was the lock on the bedroom door or one of the house’s external doors.
Ms Banfield also reported that a former tenant had told Fox Digital that his bedroom at the house had a coded lock on the door — as did every bedroom in the house.
However, a recent photo posted on social media that shows a second-floor bedroom appears to show a knob on a bedroom door that does not appear to be a coded lock, says Banfield.
It is a possibility that in the intervening years the door locks were changed.
Ms Northington also shared her frustration with the police investigation during the interview with Banfield, noting that she was getting more information from the news than from officials.
The heartbroken mother said she and her family have been absorbing the shock since Xana, 20, her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, and their roommates Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, both 21, were found dead on 13 November.
It has now been three weeks since the four University of Idaho students were found murdered at their off-campus home and police are yet to identify any suspects.
Moscow police said on Saturday that they had received over 2,645 emails, 2,770 calls, 1,084 digital media submissions, and 4,000 crime scene photos.
But officials pointed out that “at this time, no suspect has been identified”.
Two surviving roommates Dylan Mortenson and Bethany Funke who were asleep on the first floor of the house have made public statements on the murders for the first time.
Police revealed for the first time that a sixth person may also have lived at the home where the students were murdered.
“Detectives are aware of a sixth person listed on the lease at the residence but do not believe that individual was present during the incident,” the department said on Thursday.
Now, 21 days into the investigation, the killer is still at-large and detectives are wrapping up their work at the crime scene.