BEND, Ore. (AP) — A community college safety officer charged with the murder of a 23-year-old woman was extradited Wednesday to Oregon from California, where he had been held for a month in connection with other violent crimes.
Edwin Lara, 31, of Redmond was booked into Deschutes County Jail and was being held without bail, according to online jail records.
Lara faces four counts of aggravated murder in the July death of Kaylee Sawyer.
Lara, a security officer at Central Oregon Community College, kidnapped and tried to sexually assault Sawyer before killing her to cover up his attack, authorities said.
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Police believe Lara encountered Sawyer on July 24 while working his night shift as she took a late-night walk near campus.
Lara’s wife, a new hire at the Bend Police Department, noticed her husband was acting out of the ordinary the next morning and confronted him. He broke down and told her he had struck Sawyer with his patrol car, panicked and buried the body, according to a police report.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel has said he doesn’t believe Lara’s story and declined to provide further details about the case.
Authorities say Lara fled after the killing and went on a two-state crime rampage that included a kidnapping, attempted murder and carjacking.
All parties in the case are under a gag order. Hummel declined to comment Wednesday through a spokeswoman, citing the order.
Lara’s lead attorney, Benjamin Kim, did not immediately return a call Wednesday. He previously declined to comment.
Police say Lara traveled 130 miles to Salem, Oregon, after killing Sawyer and took a 19-year-old woman hostage as she left her job at a clothing store.
He fled with the woman to Yreka, California, where he shot and critically wounded a man at a motel, police say.
The carjacking occurred at a gas station with a woman and her two sons inside the vehicle. They were later released along Interstate 5 before the car was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol.
Lara was arrested July 26 and held in Siskiyou County, California.