Dad of slain Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves turns to PIs as cops too ‘inexperienced’

The grieving father of murdered University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves is working with his own private investigators — because he fears cops in the major case are too “inexperienced.”

Steve Goncalves raised his fears Sunday in an exclusive interview with The Post, saying he was also concerned one suspicious character had been ruled out too quickly — seemingly allowing him to flee the country without taking a DNA test.

He lashed out at the lack of leads coming from cops, who backtracked on claims that the killer appeared to be targeting at least one of the four roommates and have yet to even suggest a profile of the likely slasher.

One of the murder squad officers is only 26, he complained, meaning he was only 19 when the sleepy city of Moscow last had a slaying, in 2015.

“So they’re just inexperienced — and I don’t want anyone making mistakes in my child’s case,” Goncalves told The Post, also blasting the officers as “not exactly the most tech-savvy people.”

The cops are “just inexperienced — and I don’t want anyone making mistakes in my child’s case,” Steve Goncalves told The Post of murdered 21-year-old Kaylee.

As well as his own fears, Goncalves said started working with private investigators because there were “enough insiders telling us we should be concerned” about the lack of any clear leads in the Nov. 13 murders of his 21-year-old daughter and her three friends.

“I talk to detectives,” he said, making clear he was keeping away from internet sleuths, which he dismissed as “Hollywood s–t.”

“One of the private detectives I talked to has 50 years in the game,” he said of his outside help.

Madison Mogen, 21, top left, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, bottom left, Ethan Chapin, 20, center, and Xana Kernodle, 20, right.
Goncalves is working with private eyes as he fears “inexperienced” cops are not up to solving the murders of his daughter and three friends, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, also 20.

That gumshoe told him that he “had to break cases when there wasn’t DNA,’” suggesting younger cops rely on it too much.

“We’re trying to give them the benefit of the doubt,” he said of police investigators.

The grieving dad still hopes cops will “be heroes” and prove him wrong by ultimately emerging with breakthroughs that solve the case.

Steve Goncalves talks about his daughter during earlier press event.
Despite his concerns, Steve Goncalves made clear that he still hopes the cops will prove themselves “heroes” by solving the shocking case.

“I’ll apologize. I’ll come out and say ‘these guys had amazing DNA or some evidence and good for them. I was giving them s–t and I take it back.’

“I’d love to be wrong and we can get this guy,” he told The Post.

Goncalves said he is only speaking out because of his alarm at the lack of leads, including the refusal to release an official profile of the likely slasher in the Nov. 13 attack.

That would “give all these other girls that are walking around that community somebody to look out for,” Goncalves told The Post.

“Don’t make more victims,” he warned.

He admitted that he also fears that a hoodie-wearing man spotted lingering near his daughter and her best friend, Madison Mogen, also 21, was ruled out too quickly for killing the pair and their two friends.

“Some people came to us and said that he’s out of the country. He didn’t take a DNA test.,” he said.

“So we would like [police] to tell us what his alibi was,” he said, saying he would be able to move on if they could confirm it was “solid.”

Cleared man in a hoodie seen with Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves hours before they were killed.
The dad raised concerns that man seen in a hoodie hours before the murder had been cleared too quickly, saying he’s been told the person has since left the country.

Vague, mixed messaging on whether the killer likely targeted at least one of the four roommates — and why — could also lead to a dangerously false sense of security, he warned.

“I’ve heard people talk to [reporters] and say that they’d be way more scared if it wasn’t targeted,” he noted.

Private security guard outside the off-campus home where four students were butchered Nov. 13.
Private security guard outside the off-campus home where four students were butchered Nov. 13.
James Keivom

“Some people think that means they [the victims] were gambling or they were doing drugs or they were doing something that really made them [the killer] come after them,” he said of the lack of info.

“My message is, I think having a couple of beers with your girlfriend, going home, texting and crashing out in the bed together, I think a lot of girls did that,” he said of his daughter and Mogen, who sleeping in the same bed in a third-floor bedroom when they were killed.

“And a lot would be targeted if that’s all they did,” he said.

Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves posed together.
Goncalves warned that if his daughter or her best friend Mogen were targeted it would only be for doing what “a lot of girls” do all the time, something cops need to make clear.
Instagram / @autumngoncalves

His daughter and her best friend were brutally stabbed to death along with Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, both 20, who were in a bed on the second floor. 

Two other roommates who were asleep on the ground floor of the Moscow home were unharmed and likely slept through the bloodbath, police said.

Goncalves bluntly admitted on “Fox & Friends” Sunday that he does “not feel confident” in the investigation.

“I did sit down with … the lead investigator, and I looked in his eyes and I got a sense that this guy was going to do everything in his power to get – to figure something out,” he said. 

“But if the evidence isn’t there, that’s the part that I’m concerned [about],’” he told the Fox show of the apparent lack of leads.

“And that’s why I push the envelope and say a little bit more” than police want him to air publicly on what he gets told, he said..

“I hate to be that guy, but … everybody has a job and a role to play and this is my role as the parent,” he said.

Moscow Police Department, which is being helped by state police and the FBI, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Monday.

On Saturday, the force declared that it was working through around 6,500 tips submitted, including more than 1,000 to the FBI.

Investigators also had 113 pieces of physical evidence as well as around 4,000 crime scene photographs, the force said.

Still, “at this time, no suspect has been identified,” the force said, stating that “only vetted information that does not hinder the investigation will be released to the public” because “speculation, without factual backing,” has been “stoking community fears and spreading false information.”

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