BEND, Ore. (KOIN) — A college public safety officer was charged with murder Tuesday after he allegedly hit a 23-year-old woman with a car, dumped her body and fled to California where he was arrested for kidnapping and carjacking, among other things.
On Tuesday, police revealed a body found in Deschutes County matched Sawyer’s description. Edwin Lara, 31, was arrested in California and charged with murder.
Lara was with Aundreah Maes of Salem when police apprehended them north of Redding. They were arrested and charged with a number of crimes including attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking and burglary.
All charges against Maes were dropped after police determined she was a victim. Her family told KOIN 6 News Lara kidnapped her.
Redmond police were reportedly tipped off to Lara’s involvement in Sawyer’s disappearance after his wife, Bend police officer Isabel Ponce-Lara, contacted them.
Court documents released Tuesday show Ponce-Lara went into the police station to talk to officers. She “broke down and began crying uncontrollably” as she recalled her husband “acting out of the ordinary” when he came home from work on Sunday.
Lara reportedly told his wife he was driving a COCC campus safety vehicle when he hit a woman who walked out in front of him in the dark, documents show.
“After he ran over Ms. Sawyer, he panicked and then disposed of the body.”
Ponce-Lara said she didn’t know where her husband put the body, but that he told her some of Sawyer’s belongings were inside a shed at their home.
After that, Ponce-Lara said her husband took off in a 2008 blue Nissan Altima. He reportedly grabbed a 9mm pistol on his way out and said things that led his wife to believe he may have been suicidal, court documents show.
Ponce-Lara told police her husband had family in Los Angeles and may have been heading there. He was arrested Tuesday north of Redding, police said.
Sawyer’s boyfriend of 2 years, Camron Riemhofer, told investigators his girlfriend was out in downtown Bend Sunday night for a friend’s bachelorette party.
Riemhofer said Sawyer called him shortly after midnight to pick her up. She was reportedly intoxicated at the time, and the pair got into a fight.
They stood in the parking lot of their apartment complex fighting before Riemhofer reportedly left to go inside. He told investigators Sawyer was gone when he returned.
Riemhofer said he called and texted his girlfriend to get her to come back to the apartment, but she refused. She texted him around 1 a.m. saying “Good bye” before turning her cellphone off, according to court documents.
About 150 volunteers searched for Sawyer Tuesday around Deschutes County.
The medical examiner’s office is working to confirm the identity of a body found matching Sawyer’s description. It is unclear where the body was found.