On the evening of July 23rd, 2016, Kaylee Sawyer (23) had just finished up a fun filled night at a bachelorette party. By the end of the night, she was heavily intoxicated so she called her boyfriend Cameron to come pick her up.
During the drive back to their place, the couple got into an argument large enough to make Kaylee cry. Cameron told Kaylee to cool off in the car for a little bit while he headed up toward the apartment. Minutes after he left her in the parking lot, Cameron received a text message from Kaylee apologizing for not being good enough and saying goodbye. He returned to the parking lot to find the passenger door wide open. Therefore, he drove around looking for her, but assumed she was walking to her friend’s house located 4 miles away when he couldn’t find her. He went to sleep under the impression that talking in the morning when she was sober would be the better option. However, Kaylee was never seen again.
When she was reported missing, police questioned Cameron yet he was quickly ruled out as a suspect due to his cooperation with searches and verified story. On the 25th, a police officer by the name of Isabel Lara arrived at the police station explaining that her husband, Edwin, a Central Oregon Community College security guard, confided in her that he hit a young woman walking on the side of the road.
After his confession, he quickly left his home, but not before telling his wife that Kaylee’s things were in the shed. A look inside the shed disputed the fact that Kaylee’s death was an accidental hit. Her purse, shoes, clumps of hair, and a large, bloody rock were all found. It became clear to police that they were now searching for a man that harmed Kaylee. Later that night as Edwin began his escape from the city, he spotted a 19 year old girl named Aundreah Maes sitting in her car after working a 12 hour shift.
He quickly swung her passenger door open armed with a gun and wearing a bulletproof vest. Edwin demanded that Aundreah start driving to California.
Out of fear for her life, she complied with his demands. Three hours into driving, they stopped at a hotel to sleep for the night. He handcuffed Aundreah to the bed and ordered her to take multiple sleeping pills. However before passing out, Aundreah smartly warned him that she had an STD in the hopes he wouldn’t sexually violate her.
They left the hotel early the next morning and attempted to carjack an older man, but the guy refused resulting in him being non-fatally shot in the stomach. Edwin successfully carjacked another family a little while later and made Aundreah drive. As she continued heading toward California, Edwin recorded a video of himself on her phone explaining who he was and what exactly he had done. He made Aundreah post it to her Facebook under the caption “murderer on the loose.”
After calling his family, Edwin finally contacted 911 to map out his plan to surrender. “You know I know this is being recorded and I just want to say to the family of Kaylee that you know…I’m sorry…I’m sorry for what I did and in time I will tell them where the body is”, he said. He quickly handed the phone over to a terrified Aundreah so he could pull over for police. As the handcuffs clicked, Aundreah knew she was finally safe.
When Edwin was taken into the interrogation room, he told officers that he accidentally hit her with the car and then smashed a rock on her head when she wouldn’t stop screaming. Then he drastically changed his story to saying he purposely picked her up thinking she was a prostitute. However, this story was also pretty implausible because prostitution was unheard of in the area while drunk students walking home was a common occurrence. The students stumbling down the street usually received rides home by campus police.
Police and Kaylee’s family concluded that Edwin offered her a ride and she accepted under the presumption that she would be safe with a security guard. Instead, she was raped and bludgeoned to death with a rock.
Her body was found on July 26th, 2016, located in a canyon. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Edwin Lara was sentenced to two life sentences without parole — one for brutally murdering Kaylee and one for terrorizing Aundreah. As for Kaylee’s family, they reached a 2 million dollar settlement with Central Oregon Community College for the actions of their security guard.