Man killed three people in burning Riverside home to abduct teenage girl, police say

The deaths of three people, found in a burning house in Riverside on Friday, are linked to the attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl.

As police were en route to the 11200 block of Price Court to investigate a man and young woman who were having “some sort of disturbance” outside a home, dispatchers received calls from motorists about smoke coming from a home in the same building gushed block, said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.

Firefighters responded and put out the fire when they discovered the bodies of a man and two women inside, Railsback said. The victims were identified as Mark Winek, 69; his wife, Sharie Winek, 65; and their daughter Brooke Winek, 38.

Investigators have determined that the woman involved in the outdoor disturbance was a teenager who lived in the home, Railsback said. The man she was dating – Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia – has been identified as the prime suspect in the three deaths, he said. Edwards was tracked to San Bernardino County Friday night, where he was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies near Needles after firing a gun at officers, law enforcement officials said.

Riverside Police investigators determined that Edwards met the young girl online and misrepresented who he was, Railsback said.

Edwards traveled from Virginia to Riverside, where he parked his vehicle in a neighbor’s driveway and walked to the teen’s home, officials said. The exact cause and nature of the three deaths are under investigation, but police believe Edwards murdered the teenager’s grandfather, grandmother and mother before taking the teenager to his vehicle and driving away, officials said.

The teenager was not injured.

Edwards was formerly employed by the Virginia State Police and more recently worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, Railsback said. Man killed three people in burning Riverside home to abduct teenage girl, police say

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