Police ID body as suspected Bend murder victim; death caused by - KPTV - FOX 12

Police ID body as suspected Bend murder victim; death caused by blunt force trauma

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Kaylee Sawyer, family photo Kaylee Sawyer, family photo
Edwin Lara, jail booking photo Edwin Lara, jail booking photo

A body found off a Deschutes County highway has been identified as 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer, a woman police believe was murdered in Bend.

Sawyer's body was located off Highway 126 near Milepost 100 in an area known as Dry Canyon at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Sawyer was reported missing Sunday. She was last seen early that morning in the parking lot of her apartment complex near Central Oregon Community College.

Edwin Lara, a 31-year-old security guard at the college, is facing murder charges in connection with Sawyer's death.

The medical examiner determined her death was caused by blunt force trauma.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Lara told his wife that Sawyer walked out in front of him and he hit her with his campus security vehicle. Court documents state he claimed to have panicked and disposed of her body at a location he did not reveal to his wife.

Police said leads led them to the Highway 126 location, but did not release any other details about the investigation.

Items including Sawyer's purse and shoes were found in a bag inside a shed at Lara's home, according to court documents.

Lara's wife was recently hired as a Bend Police Department officer. She is not considered a suspect in the case and police said she immediately reported the information she learned about her husband.

Investigators said Lara then went on a crime spree from Salem to northern California.

Police said Lara kidnapped a 19-year-old woman in Salem, shot an elderly man at a motel in Yreka, California and then carjacked a family at gunpoint at a gas station.

He was arrested following a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 near Redding. The Salem woman was with him at the time and has since returned to Oregon.

Lara was in the Siskiyou County Jail on Thursday.

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