Documents reveal Edwin Lara’s Oregon crime spree

Kaylee Sawyer was 23

Edwin Lara in his first California court appearance, July 29, 2016. (KOIN)
Edwin Lara in his first California court appearance, July 29, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Edwin Lara tried to sexually abuse Kaylee Sawyer before he killed her, court documents revealed.

Lara, who was a public safety officer at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, allegedly kidnapped the 23-year-old woman, tried to sexually assault her, killed her and then dumped her body on or around July 24.

Those actions led 4 counts of aggravated murder against the 31-year-old Lara, who remains in a California jail on charges related to a subsequent crime spree. Aggravated murder carries with it the possibility of the death penalty, though prosecutors have not made any decision on whether to seek it.

Lara then traveled to Salem, kidnapped another woman and took her to California, where he shot a man and carjacked a vehicle with three people inside, police allege. After a chase over 100 mph on the main freeway along the West Coast, the California Highway Patrol arrested Lara.

In a California court last week, Lara declined to waive extradition, meaning he will remain in California for the time being.

Many people in Bend, where Lara worked, are reeling. A former lumber town at the foot of the Cascade Range, Bend has seen its population more than quadruple over the past 25 years to 87,000.

Bend averaged one murder or manslaughter per year since 1985, according to FBI statistics. Police say many were related to domestic violence.

There is no indication Lara knew the young woman he is charged with killing.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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