There’s a real danger with this strategy. At best this is a none-too-subtle tactic to calm the nerves of a jittery public:
“Please continue to go about your lives. No need to presume anything out of the ordinary has disrupted the pace of our sleepy college town. Nothing to see here.”
More cynically, by “random” the police create a subtle message that there was nothing they could have done to prevent this murder. And that may be so, time will tell. But the more you start to produce these messages, the more you begin to believe your own press. The police can make themselves vulnerable by playing this gambit, and thereby fail to recognize what is in plain view before their eyes.
This case is too much in the early phases of investigation to call into question the police. But we should all pay very close attention to law enforcement’s motives and public statements in the coming days of the Eve Carson murder investigation.