The attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl is considered to be related to the deaths of three persons discovered Friday in a burning home near Riverside.
Drivers called dispatchers to report smoke coming from a home in the same block as police were en route to the 11200 block of Price Court to check on a man and a young woman who was having “some type of disturbance” outside a residence, according to Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.
A male and two women’s remains were found inside the residence when firefighters arrived to put out the fire, according to Railsback. Mark Winek, 69, his wife Sharie Winek, 65, and their daughter Brooke Winek, 38, were all named as the victims.
According to Railsback, investigators found that the woman responsible for the commotion outside was a resident teenager. Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, the man she was with, was named as the primary suspect in the three fatalities, he said.
Edwards was located in San Bernardino County on Friday night and shot dead by sheriff’s deputies after shooting a gun at them near Needles, according to law enforcement officials.
Man met California girl online, killed her mom, grandparents before abducting her, police say https://t.co/OH7A9LvVhZ
— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) November 28, 2022
According to Railsback, Riverside police officers discovered that Edwards had met the adolescent girl online and had lied about his identity.
According to authorities, Edwards drove to Riverside from Virginia, parked his car in a neighbor’s driveway, and then went on foot to the teen’s house.
According to sources, investigators suspect Edwards killed the youngster’s mother, grandmother, and grandfather before putting the teen in his car and leaving. The precise cause and method of the three killings are still under investigation.
The teen suffered no harm.
According to Railsback, Edwards previously worked for the Virginia State Police and most recently for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia.