Redmond man accused of murder, wild crime spree across two state - KPTV - FOX 12

Redmond man accused of murder, wild crime spree across two states

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Edwin Lara Edwin Lara
Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department) Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department)
Aundreah Maes Aundreah Maes

A Redmond man accused of a crime spree spanning Bend, Salem and California will have his first day in court Thursday.

Edwin Lara, 31, was booked into the Siskiyou County Jail in California around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. He will appear before a judge in on multiple charges including attempted murder and kidnapping.

Lara was also charged with murder in Deschutes County. District Attorney John Hummel told Fox 12 Wednesday that Lara “intentionally killed" 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer of Bend.

Sawyer’s family reported her missing Sunday evening.

Hummel said he could not go into details surrounding the investigation, but court records show Lara told his wife, a Bend police officer, that he accidentally ran over Sawyer with his patrol car when she stepped out in front of him.

The documents further say Lara told his wife that he had disposed of her body, and put some of her personal items in a shed on their property. 

Bend Police said that officer, Isabel Ponce-Lara, immediately went to Redmond police with what she knew, and was critical to helping them catch her husband.

The timeline and circumstances surrounding the next series of events unfolding in Salem and Yreka are still not completely clear, but Yreka Police said a woman that was arrested with Lara on Tuesday, 19-year-old Aundreah Maes, turned out to be a victim.

Maes lives in Salem, and her family told Fox 12 she was kidnapped after leaving her job at Ross. The family said Maes was forced by Lara into her own car by gunpoint and driven south. 

Family members said Thursday that Maes is doing well both physically and emotionally — calling her a “strong” young woman who is just glad to be reunited with her family.

Salem Police said that Redmond Police are investigating the kidnapping, since the crime involving Sawyer originated in Central Oregon.

Another victim is still fighting for his life in California.

Yreka Police have not yet identified a man shot in the stomach at a Super 8 Motel, but said they believe Lara shot the elderly man. Police have not released the circumstances surrounding the shooting, or why Lara allegedly shot him.

Yreka Police, however, did release what investigators say happened next: Lara needed a getaway car so he carjacked a family at a nearby gas station, taking three of the family members hostage in their car along with Maes. 

Police said the family was then dropped off unharmed about 20 miles away. Lara continued on in their car with Maes, but by that point, officers had tracked his phone and soon after pulled him over without further incident. 

Now there’s multiple charges against Lara in both California and Oregon. 

Hummel said he is in contact with prosecutors in California, and together they will determine whether Lara should be prosecuted first in Siskiyou County, or brought back to Bend to face murder charges. Hummel said it would likely take a few days to sort out how they will proceed.

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