Indictment: Oregon man kidnapped, tried to rape Bend woman befor - KPTV - FOX 12

Indictment: Oregon man kidnapped, tried to rape Bend woman before killing her

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Edwin Lara, jail booking photo Edwin Lara, jail booking photo
Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department) Kaylee Sawyer (Courtesy: Bend Police Department)

The college security officer accused of killing a Bend woman before starting a multi-state crime spree has been indicted on four aggravated-murder charges in Deschutes County.

The court documents are also shedding light on a possible motive behind the killing of 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer. 

The indictment alleges that Edwin Lara, 31, kidnapped and attempted to rape Sawyer before killing her to cover the crimes.

It’s a stark contrast to what Lara apparently told his wife - an affidavit says Lara told her Sawyer walked out in front of his patrol car and he accidentally struck and killed her and then panicked and hid her body.

However, District Attorney John Hummel has maintained for weeks that he believes Lara intentionally killed Sawyer before going on a crime spree taking him to Salem and California.

Sawyer was last seen walking shortly after midnight July 24 from her apartment near Central Oregon Community College, where Lara works as a security officer.

Court documents shows that Lara’s wife, a Bend police officer, went to authorities after Lara confessed to her that he killed Sawyer.

Sawyer’s body was found a few days later – the same day Lara was arrested in California and charged with a slew of other crimes including attempted murder of a man in Yreka, and the kidnapping of both a woman in Salem and a family he later allegedly carjacked in California.

Prosecutors said Sawyer died of blunt force trauma. Her body was found in a rural canyon outside of Bend.

Lara is currently behind bars in California. He’s expected to be extradited to Oregon in the next couple weeks to face the aggravated murder charges.

If found guilty, Lara could face the death penalty if prosecutors seek it.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said he and his team are still deciding whether they’ll go that route.

“The decision whether to try to kill someone is the most sobering and important decision our government officials are called upon to make,” Hummel said in a release. “Over the next one to two months I will meet with Kaylee’s family, compare Mr. Lara’s actions to the actions of all the other suspects ever charged in Deschutes County with aggravated murder, consult with my deputies, and then sit by myself and make the decision that is fair, just, and dictated by law.”

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