Parler Share
News

Authorities Drag 3 Bodies from Smoldering House - Quickly Realize It Wasn't the Fire That Killed Them

Parler Share

A California fire that destroyed a home in Riverside on Friday masked what lay within until firefighters entered the burning structure.

When they did, they found three people dead, beginning a chain of events that led to the death of a former member of the Virginia State Police in a shootout with California authorities, according to a news release from the Riverside Police Department.

The police release said that shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday, police were called to a neighborhood where a young woman “who appeared distressed” entered a car.

The statement noted that moments later, a fire was reported in the same area.

“I could see the flames were six feet high inside the garage,” Rick Beavers, a neighbor, said, according to CBS.

Trending:
'I Don't Give a F*** If You're an Adult or Not': 9th-Grade Female Student Physically Beats Teacher

When Riverside firefighters entered the residence, they found the three dead victims, according to the release.

”Their bodies were pulled outside where it was determined they were victims of an apparent homicide. Firefighters continued their efforts until the fire was placed under control and eventually extinguished,” the release said.

The cause of death for Mark Winek, 69, his wife Sharie Winek, 65, and their daughter Brooke Winek, 38 has not been determined, the release said. The fire appears to have been set, the release said.

As police investigated, they learned that the young woman who had been the subject of the welfare check lived at the home. Police identified the man she was with as Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia.

Edwards entered the Virginia State Police academy on July 6, 2021, and graduated as a trooper on Jan. 21, according to a state police representative. He resigned on Oct. 28, according to NBC. He also worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia.

Edwards was hired by the sheriff’s office on Nov. 16 and was in orientation, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office.

“It is shocking and sad to the entire law enforcement community that such an evil and wicked person could infiltrate law enforcement while concealing his true identity as a computer predator and murderer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winek family, their friends, officers, and all of those affected by this heinous crime,” Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis said, according to KCRA-TV.

Related:
Popular 90's Child Actor Has Sights Set on Adam Schiff's Seat: Report

A search for Edwards located him in San Bernardino County, according to the release.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department approached Edwards, who fired on deputies and was killed by return fire, the release said, noting the teenager taken with him was unharmed.

The release explained the circumstances, saying 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 actually are. It is believed Edwards had developed an online relationship with the teen and obtained her personal information.”

Police believe Edwards killed the teen’s family before taking her with him.

“We had a grandmother, grandfather and a mother of this teen murdered by this suspect who traveled from across the country for, most likely, the sexual exploitation of this teenager,” Riverside police officer Ryan Railsback said, according to KABC-TV.

“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,” Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez said in his agency’s release.

“I just want everyone to know how loving they were. They don’t deserve this. I’m not eating. I’m not sleeping. It just hit me very, very hard,” neighbor Bonnie Davis said during a vigil for the victims, according to KABC. “They were just that type people that you would just never wake up to think that you would hear this of them.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , ,
Parler Share
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




Conversation