CA: Lawman Suspect in killings of 3 family members in Riverside had ‘catfished’ teen, police say

Source: 11/27/22

The killer of three family members in Riverside on Friday was a Virginia lawman who under false pretenses developed an online romantic relationship with a teen girl who was the victims’ granddaughter and daughter, investigators said Sunday.

The suspect — who fled with the teenager after the killings and an arson fire at the victims’ home — died in a shootout that night with law enforcement in the Mojave Desert. The teen girl escaped the shootout scene unharmed.

Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, was identified as the suspect in the killing of three Riverside residents inside their home on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (Courtesy of the Riverside Police Department)
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.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s personnel encountered Edwards and the teen in the suspect’s red Kia Soul in the desert town of Kelso — not Needles as previously reported, the Sheriff’s Department said. At Kelso Cima Road, SWAT intercepted Edwards’ vehicle. During the pursuit, Edwards fired at deputies. Edwards lost control as the pursuit ended and he drove off the road. The teen female who had escaped  was rescued by deputies before Edwards died in the shootout, the Sheriff’s Department said.

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This guy just set PFR back another 10 years, all internet sex crimes are never getting off Tier 3 life time registration in California for sure now.
It’s sad we’re placed in the same boat az this psychopath and will also suffer for his crimes

More reasons to dismantle the Registry – this system has repeatedly failed again and again to protect minors and their family from predatory adults like this rogue cop. And it will continue to do so in the future.

Like Einstein’s parable: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This perfectly sums up the Registry. Every poor fool in this world turns to this system to look out for danger thinking that would protect the community while under their noses every wolf in sheep’s clothing is within touching distance of their children in the guise of a teacher, coach, relative, police officer, pastor, and so on.

Society suffers greatly from this insanity. End the insanity. End the Registry.

Too bad he chose the coward way out.
Every time I read these kinds of reports, it only strengthens the case that PFRs are not the ones the public should be worried about.

ACSOL should put an entire section reserved for Law enforcement and politicians breaking the laws they either support or enforce. I think it would be interesting to have a study done of LEOs and politicians and how many avoided prosecution or the registry due to their status.

LEOs have gotten very good at Catfishing since a huge part of their “fundraising” is bending the ICAC rules to entrap people into committing crimes whilst first posing as a woman and then doing the bait and switch. They are given thousands upon thousands of dollars to do so. It’s a wonder that this doesn’t happen more often as LEOs rarely are held to any sort of standard anymore.
May this family RIP, I hope this poor young lady can heal at some point from her trauma of seeing her family murdered. Its crazy how much the local media seems to focus on the catfishing part and not the triple murder/ arson part. Oh, and also how, for days, they buried the information about the suspect being law enforcement to begin with.

Kelso is off of I-40 between Barstow & Needles. 42 years ago, my same age 13 year-old neighbor and his parents took me on a week long camping trip in the mountains above Kelso. It was one of the best times of my life, getting away from the big city which is my hometown of Barstow. Decades later, I’d never imagined I’d be living at the bottom of the world in a once pariah state because my home country considers me part of a pariah class of people, and my former cesspool upper Midwest state wants me to report to them the rest of my life. Life throws a lot of curves.