California police arrest suspect in Bend homicide investigation - KPTV - FOX 12

California police arrest suspect in Bend homicide investigation

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Edwin Lara (Courtesy: Bend Police Department) Edwin Lara (Courtesy: Bend Police Department)
Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department) Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department)
BEND, OR (KPTV) -

The man police suspect was involved in the disappearance of a Bend woman has been arrested in California. 

The family of the missing woman, 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer, said 31-year-old Edwin Lara of Redmond was arrested in Tehama County in northern California. 

California High Patrol officials said officers pulled Lara over on I-5 near Red Bluff around 6:45 a.m.

The Bend Police Department began investigating the disappearance of Sawyer early Sunday morning.

The investigation led officers to multiple addresses in Redmond.

On Tuesday, police said recently gathered information caused them to change the type of investigation from missing person to a homicide investigation.

Bend officers identified Lara as a person of interest. Police are now describing him as a suspect.

Police said Lara is a part-time security guard at Central Oregon Community College near where Sawyer lives.

She is 5 feet 2 inches tall with blond hair and blue-green eyes and was last seen in the parking lot of her apartment wearing a black dress and brown boots with a green purse. 

Sawyer's mother Julie Van Cleave, said they are resuming a voluntary search to find her daughter.

"There is evidence that is pointing to the fact that, you know, she has met with some harm. But until I have my baby back home, I still hold onto that hope that she might be OK," she said.

Lara's wife, Isabel Ponce-Lara, was recently hired by the Bend Police Department as an officer. She is currently field training. 

The Bend Police Department released a statement saying Ponce-Lara is not suspected to be involved in the disappearance of Sawyer and she is cooperating with the investigation. She reported her husband's possible involvement in the case Monday morning, according to investigators. 

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