Idaho police say professor who is suing TikTok tarot reader for defamation not linked to murders

Idaho police provided an update Monday on the murder investigation of four university students and the latest details involved the accusations hurled by a TikTok tarot card reader against a history professor.

Since Ethan Chapin, Kayla Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Maddie Mogen were fatally stabbed on Nov. 13, the City of Moscow Police Department has been poring through thousands of tips that could lead them to identify the killer. After TikTok influencer Ashley Guillard alleged that University of Idaho professor Rebecca Scofield was not only responsible but had a romantic relationship with one of the students, law enforcement issued their own response to the claim.

“At this time in the investigation,” police posted to Facebook, “detectives do not believe the female associate professor and chair of the history department at the University of Idaho suing a TikTok user for defamation is involved in this crime.”

“The Moscow Police Department will not provide a statement about the ongoing civil process,” they added before explaining to the public that official public record videos are authentic but, after release they are at risk of being tampered with.

Though law enforcement would not opine on the matter, Scofield’s attorney Wendy J. Olson had plenty to say on that matter as she told Fox News that, despite two cease-and-desist letters, Guillard “has continued to make false statements, knowing they are false.”

“What’s even worse,” Olson continued, “is that these untrue statements create safety issues for the Professor and her family. They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing and undermine law enforcement efforts to find the people responsible in order to provide answers to the families and the public.”

As previously reported, Guillard had posted videos suggesting that Scofield had been romantically involved with Goncalves and had plotted the murder of the four students with one of their peers. The complaint filed by the professor included her denial of even knowing any of the students named and expressed, “Professor Scofield was not in Moscow, Idaho, when the murders occurred. She and her husband were in Portland, Oregon, visiting friends. They stayed in a hotel, checking out in the morning on November 13, after the murders occurred. They drove from Portland to Moscow, a drive of more than five hours, arriving after law enforcement had discovered the murders.”

Guillard was evidently undeterred by the lawsuit and created a follow-up video where she said, “I am not stopping.”

“Now, I have information about what she’s saying her alibi is. I am going to dig deep into that, too,” the TikToker went on before suggesting, “I have physical evidence against [the professor] that validates everything that I have said about her, but I can’t speak on it now because it has to wait for court.”

The influencer wasn’t alone in making claims regarding the murder investigation and Moscow Police Chief James Fry had addressed the behavior of some cybersleuths earlier in December when he said, “What we want people to know is…that individuals who are being harassed in this situation, people need to be careful because some of it’s happening online, some of it’s happening through phone calls and in person, and people could be charged possibly in the future if it continues to a point where it reaches a criminal element.”

“Anyone engaging in threats or harassment,” an additional police statement read, “whether in person, online or otherwise needs to understand that they could be subjecting themselves to criminal charges.”

At the time of the latest press release, law enforcement was still looking for a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra that was believed to be in the area at the time of the murders and tip lines remained open.

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Kevin Haggerty

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