Who is Austin Lee Edwards? Suspect in Riverside Triple Murder Identified

Who is Austin Lee Edwards? Suspect in Riverside Triple Murder Identified

Police have identified the suspect in a triple murder in Riverside as Austin Lee Edwards, who they say “catfished” a teen who lived in the house before killing her family. Let us see more details about this triple Murder in Riverside.

Triple Murder in Riverside

Investigators revealed on Sunday that the Virginia lawman who did triple Murder in Riverside on Friday had formed an internet romance with a juvenile girl. She was the victims’ granddaughter and daughter under false pretenses.

After the murders and an arson fire at the victims’ home, the suspect and the adolescent fled, but they were caught that night and the suspect was killed in a gunfight with law police in the Mojave Desert. The juvenile girl managed to flee the gunfight unscathed.

Who is Austin Lee Edwards

The suspect is Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, authorities said. Riverside detectives learned Edwards had worked for the Virginia State Police until he was recently employed at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia.

Police have identified the suspect in a triple murder in Riverside as Austin Lee Edwards, who they say “catfished” a teen who lived in the house before killing her family

At the Scene

This all started on Friday, November 25, just after 11 a.m., according to the authorities. Due to complaints of an altercation between a male and a teenage girl, Riverside Police officers were summoned to a residence in the 11200 block of Price Court. Officers observed the teen getting into a red Kia Soul with a man, subsequently identified as North Chesterfield, Virginia resident Austin Lee Edwards, 28, who they described as acting “distressed.”

Deputies from San Bernardino County found Edwards and the teen driving in an unincorporated region of Kelso, about 200 miles northeast of Riverside, a few hours later.
Officials claim that Edwards fired a gun at deputies after being confronted. After being shot, Edwards was declared dead there and then. The young passenger in the automobile escaped uninjured. She was brought into prison for protection.

Victims and Causes

According to Riverside police, those deceased on Friday i Triple Murder included Mark Winek, 69, his wife Sharie Winek, 65, and their daughter Brooke Winek, 38. According to authorities, the precise cause and manner of their deaths are still under investigation. They added that it appeared the fire at their home on Friday was deliberately started. The bodies of the victims were eventually discovered as a result of that fire.

The teen girl managed to flee the scene of the desert chase unscathed and was subsequently taken into the care of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, according to Riverside police.

“Detectives determined Edwards had met the female teenager through the common form of online deception known as ‘catfishing,’ where someone pretends to be a different person than they are. It is believed Edwards had developed an online relationship with the teen and obtained her personal information,” Riverside police said in a statement.

“He traveled from Virginia to Riverside where he parked his vehicle in a neighbor’s driveway and walked to the teen’s home. At some point, he murdered the teen’s grandfather, grandmother, and mother before walking back to his vehicle with the teen and leaving.” The investigation into the triple homicide was continuing.

Caution for Youngsters

“Our hearts go out to the Winek family and their loved ones during this time of tremendous grief, as this is a tragedy for all Riversiders,” Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez said in a statement. “This is yet another horrific reminder of the predators existing online who prey on our children. If you’ve already had a conversation with your kids on how to be safe online and on social media, have it again. If not, start it now to better protect them.

Mourners honored the Winek family members

At a vigil on Saturday night, mourners honored the Winek family members who died in the home at 11261 Price Court. The Wineks were described as a loving family with deep connections to communities in western Riverside County.

“Mark Winek was a loving Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Brother, and Coach at Arlington High School,” organizers of a GoFundMe attempting to raise $100,000 for the family wrote. “Sharie Winek was a sweet and caring Mother, Grandmother, Sister, and Aunt who cherished spending time with her family. Brooke Winek was a beloved single mother with the biggest heart and found her most immense joy in following her daughter in the Color Guard at Arlington High School.”

To the mourners gathered on Price Court late Saturday night, the Wineks were caring friends whose violent deaths came as a shock. Up until the week before he died, Mark Winek was a regular presence in his friend Ron Smith’s life.

Their 30-year friendship began when they met coaching baseball at Corona High School, Smith said. From then on, Winek became not only a close friend but a beloved figure in the Inland Empire high school sports community – for athletes and coaches alike.

“Mark was a man who was huge in the softball and baseball coaching ranks,” Smith said, adding that he was even a “well-respected coach for teams on the other side.”

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