BEND, OR -- A Deschutes County Grand Jury has indicted Edwin Lara for the murder of Kaylee Sawyer. The 23-year-old Bend woman disappeared July 24; her body was found two days later in a dry canyon along Highway 126, between Redmond and Sisters.
Lara's wife told investigators he told her he hit Sawyer with his COCC patrol car. District Attorney John Hummel says part of the gag order has been lifted, and he can now reveal more about the case. "She was killed at the hands of Mr. Lara; she was not killed by Mr. Lara’s vehicle, in spite of what he may have said early on in this investigation," Hummel tells KBND News. "Mr. Lara kidnapped Kaylee, he then attempted to sexually assault her and he then killed her – not with his vehicle."
Hummel adds, "All these acts that I just described occurred on the COCC campus. After Kaylee was murdered on campus, Mr. Lara took her body to Redmond where he disposed of her body. The next day, he changed his mind about where he wanted Kaylee to be. He then moved her body to the final spot where she was ultimately discovered."
The 31-year-old Redmond man was indicted on four counts of aggravated murder. "Aggravated murder is as it sounds, it’s a more serious form of murder," says Hummel. "Aggravated murder carries the possibility of the death penalty; regular murder does not." Although, Hummel says no decision has been made whether to seek the death penalty in this case.
Lara remains in a California jail, where he also faces charges for crimes committed after Sawyer's murder while he was on the run. Hummel expects Lara will be extradited back to Oregon in the next couple of weeks.