Triple Homicide in California-Search Warrants Executed at Saltville Home for the Accused Washington County Deputy

The home in Saltville of the recently recruited Washington County deputy suspected of killing a young girl’s family and setting fire to their house on November 25 has been searched.

Later that day, San Bernardino County deputies engaged Austin Lee Edwards, 28, in gunfire, and he was killed. Edwards bought the house on Allison Gap Road 11 days before the murders occurred and only two days before he started working for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, as shown by documents from Smyth County.

Smyth County investigators have issued search warrants for the residence, but they are not public knowledge. There was no word by the deadline from the Smyth County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office about why the records were being kept under wraps.

Captain Bill Eller said he was approached by investigators in Riverside, California, last Saturday to assist them in their investigation. Still, he could not reveal the sheriff’s office’s position or details of the study.

At 11:08 a.m. that day, officers were sent to check on a young woman who appeared upset while getting into a red Kia Soul with a man, according to a news statement from the Riverside Police Department.

Firefighters entered the house and found the death of three adults in the foyer

According to the release, calls of a nearby house fire started coming in as the cops responded. According to the police, the Riverside Fire Department was the first to respond and reported a working fire on the home’s first story. Firefighters entered the house and found the death of three adults in the foyer, all of whom had been murdered.

After the blaze was extinguished, the Riverside County Sheriff-Office, Coroner’s the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, and the Riverside Fire Department’s arson investigators took up the investigation. Mark Winek, 69, his wife Sharie Winek, 65, and their daughter Brook Winek, 38, have been named the victims by the police.

According to the announcement, it appears the house fire was intentionally started, but the police are still investigating the reason and manner of death. An examination of the initial 911 call led investigators to conclude that the girl who had made it was a resident of the house where the fire and murders had occurred and that the man she had been with was named Edwards.

Some hours later, Edwards and the teen were found in San Bernardino, California

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said a pursuit involving helicopters and a SWAT vehicle had ensued. According to the announcement, Edwards fired at the SWAT vehicle, hitting it multiple times, before he lost control of his truck and drove off the road. The teenager got out of the car at that point, and law enforcement officers were able to save him.

Edwards, police say, also got out of the car and pointed a gun at the sheriff’s helicopter, prompting the officers on the ground to shoot back. A supporter for the family says the girl is receiving trauma counseling at the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, where she is currently in protective care.

On Wednesday, Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez told reporters that Edwards had “catfished” the girl by developing a bogus internet relationship while posing as a 17-year-old guy.

To get to the teen’s house in Riverside, California, Edwards allegedly drove from Virginia and parked in a neighbor’s driveway. The police said, “At some point, he murdered the youngster’s grandfather, grandmother, and mother.” He then walked back to his truck with the teen in tow.

On Wednesday, Gonzalez said that police are still investigating the “digital crime scene” to learn more about the nature and scope of the online interaction. He also revealed that detectives had been in touch with law enforcement organizations in Virginia on the day of the murders.

That, he assured us, would go on, and he added, “As of right now, our detectives have not found anything that would cause someone to believe something like this would occur.” Gonzalez emphasized having open conversations about online safety with children in both the first news release and the press conference.


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