College Public Safety Officer Faces Charges for On-Campus Murder

Published: July 28, 2016

An Oregon community college public safety officer has been arrested and charged with murder after police say he ran over a woman on campus then fled the area.

The arrest of Edwin Lara on July 26 ended a manhunt that had caused many residents of Bend, Oregon to panic as police warned the community that the suspect was armed and dangerous.

Lara, a 31-year-old part-time officer at Central Oregon Community College, was arrested in California nearly two days after the fatal crash on campus. Lara has also been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking burglary and more, reports

Oregon police say Kaylee Sawyer, 23, was last seen at 1 a.m. on July 24 after getting into a fight with her boyfriend in her apartment near campus. She was reported missing later that day.

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On July 25, Lara’s wife Isabel Ponce-Lara, who is an officer with the Bend Police Department, confronted Lara about acting strange. Ponce-Lara told police her husband admitted to running over Sawyer in his patrol vehicle. Lara also reportedly confessed that he panicked after the accident and hid Sawyer’s body in an undisclosed location, putting some of her belongings in their shed. Lara then left the house with his 9mm Glock pistol.

Ponce-Lara contacted authorities immediately, relaying the information she’d heard and reporting that Lara may be suicidal. Redmond police described Ponce-Lara as cooperative and she’s been placed on leave because of the trauma of the situation.

Early in the morning the following day, July 26, police in Yreka, California received a call about a man who was shot in the stomach at a Super 8 Motel. Then, five minutes after the shooting, another man reported to police that his car had been stolen with three of his family members inside across the street from the motel. The three family members contacted police 30 minutes later, reporting that they’d been dropped off unharmed along Interstate 5.

Police used a cell phone ping on Lara to track his location, eventually stopping his car around 7 a.m. and arresting him without incident.

The motel shooting victim is currently listed in stable but critical condition.

Lara’s wife is being praised for immediately alerting police of the threat posed by her husband.

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Posted in: News

Tagged with: Homicide, Investigations

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