(NewsNation) — The Moscow Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday that investigators don’t think a University of Idaho professor is implicated in the grisly killings of four college students, refuting a social media user and tarot reader who repeatedly claimed that the professor was connected to the murders.
“At this time in the investigation, 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 statement reads.
Earlier this month, TikToker and tarot reader Ashley Guillard accused Rebecca Scofield, a history professor at the University of Idaho, of being involved in the murders. As noted by the Moscow police, Scofield has responded with a defamation lawsuit.
In an interview with NewsNation, Guillard stood by her accusation.
“When I go to court and they see the evidence or they see how I connect the dots, then they’ll make a decision as it pertains to whether they want to continue to live in blinders or believe it. If they don’t, I don’t care,” she said.
Police have yet to name a suspect but have cleared a number of people, including Scofield. Meanwhile, rumors and speculation have gained momentum online.
One of the victims’ neighbors told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield he submitted his DNA to law enforcement on his own accord so they would clear him as a suspect after online sleuths who suspected him would not leave him alone.
Scofield’s attorney sent NewsNation a statement denouncing the accusation.
“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple. What’s even worse 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.”
Tracy Walder, a former FBI Special Agent, warned that no matter what happens with the lawsuit, the damage caused by the speculation may be long-lasting.
“This is incredibly damaging to someone’s career because we forget, the internet lives forever,” she said during an appearance on NewsNation’s Rush Hour. “Even though she may be successful in a civil lawsuit or criminal lawsuit, her name will still be associated with this forever.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Moscow Police Department reiterated that they have yet to identify any suspects in the killings.
Police said that “progress continues” in the search for a white Hyundai Elantra that was seen near the murder scene. They are asking the public to send them tips related to the case.
If you have information that could be helpful to law enforcement, you can contact them at their Tip Line: 208-883-7180, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online to fbi.gov/moscowidaho.