A “Catfishing” cop who killed a household was arrested in 2016 after threats


The Virginia police officer who “catfished” A 15-year-old California lady who went on-line and killed her mom and grandparents was arrested for psychiatric analysis in 2016 after threatening to kill herself and her father and experiencing relationship issues along with her girlfriend, in accordance with a police report obtained by the Los Angeles Instances. .

The 2016 incident, which was not beforehand reported, raises new questions on how Austin Lee Edwards turned a police officer and provides particulars about his life. Authorities in Virginia stated they had been shocked by the California riot and knew of no pink flags in Edwards’ background.

Edwards, 28, a former Virginia state trooper who in November joined the sheriff’s workplace in Washington County, Va., as a deputy, introduced himself as a 17-year-old whereas speaking with the lady on-line, in accordance with Riverside police. Final month, he drove throughout the nation to her house in Riverside, the place he killed her mom and grandparents earlier than setting the home on hearth and driving off with the lady.

Police later stopped the automotive of Edwards in San Bernardino County; authorities initially stated he was killed there in a shootout with police. However the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division introduced final week that Edwards truly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The lady was unharmed.

Edwards had been in bother for years earlier than the November incident.

Austin Lee Edwards.

(Riverside Police Division)

The 2016 police report, obtained by The Instances by a public data request, particulars a disturbing night time in his family.

On the night of February 7, 2016, Edwards watched the Tremendous Bowl along with his father, Christopher Roy Edwards. They every drank two beers, the daddy later informed police.

Later that night time, Christopher Edwards awoke to the sound of his 21-year-old son making noise within the rest room. He known as his son, who locked the door, then used a screwdriver to open the door and noticed his son with a lower on his hand. Christopher Edwards later informed police he didn’t know what his son used to hurt himself, however knives and a small ax had been close by.

Christopher Edwards known as an ambulance whereas his son went to his bed room and sat on the mattress, repeatedly opening and shutting a pocket or folding knife, in accordance with the report. After being informed an ambulance was on its method, Edwards tried to depart the condo, however his father subdued him within the kitchen, the elder Edwards informed police.

Christopher Edwards couldn’t be reached for remark.

Emergency medical technicians found Edwards was being held by his father, they informed police. The EMTs, disturbed by Edwards’ “resistance to medical support and makes an attempt to flee his father’s management,” requested police help, in accordance with the report.

When police arrived round 3:30 a.m. on February 8, 2016, they discovered the house had “a big presence of blood inside.” Edwards continued to withstand authorities, refusing to let EMTs deal with his damage and persevering with to attempt to escape his father, in accordance with the report.

One officer ordered Edwards to indicate his palms, after which Edwards “began yelling and threatening everybody,” in accordance with the officer’s account within the report. The officer took out his Taser, and Edwards yelled at him to make use of it. Christopher Edwards pleaded with the officer to not use the Taser on his son and stated he was in a position to subdue him. After getting Edwards to the bottom, the officer and a member of the EMT crew had been in a position to handcuff him and strap him to a stretcher.

Edwards was transported to Johnston Memorial Hospital. He had “an obvious severe lower to his left hand” and informed cops that the second he was freed from handcuffs he would kill his father and attempt to kill himself.

Police stated Christopher Edwards had chew marks on each arms however declined medical remedy. He informed authorities he did not know why his son damage himself, however stated it may very well be associated to issues along with his girlfriend.

Due to the suicidal and murderous statements, an emergency custody order was issued, underneath which Edwards was transported to an area hospital, the place medical professionals evaluated whether or not he met the necessities for momentary incarceration, in accordance with the report. A TDO, which permits regulation enforcement to take somebody into custody and transport them for psychological well being analysis or care if the individual is unwilling to take action, has been issued.

A Washington County choose issued Edwards’ TDO on Tuesday in response to a movement filed by The Instances.

The document signifies that the order was issued at roughly 10 a.m. on February 8, 2016, as a result of there was “a considerable probability that, because of psychological sickness, [Edwards] will, within the close to future” severely hurt himself or undergo hurt resulting from his “lack of potential to guard himself from hurt” or present for primary wants. The order stated Edwards wanted hospitalization or remedy and was unwilling or unable to hunt it.

That day, Edwards was transported to Ridgeview Pavilion, a psychiatric facility in Bristol, Va., in accordance with the order.

Emergency custody orders are issued for a wide range of causes, together with when somebody could hurt themselves or others. The order could also be issued voluntarily or involuntarily and will stay in impact till a short lived arrest warrant is issued.

Edwards by no means disclosed the 2016 incident to the Virginia State Police, company spokeswoman Corinne Geller stated in a press release. Geller declined to touch upon the emergency custody order and momentary detention order, saying the division was prohibited by regulation from discussing confidential data. Geller stated the company is conducting a evaluate of Edwards’ employment. Geller didn’t reply to requests for remark after The Instances knowledgeable her that the orders had been now not confidential.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Workplace declined to remark.

Officers from the 2 businesses stated none of Edwards’ earlier employers had disclosed issues with him. Geller stated the company performed a “thorough background test” as a part of its hiring course of, which might have included a fingerprint-based felony background test and psychological testing, although it is unclear whether or not that effort would have uncovered the pressing custody order or momentary detention. order Geller stated the company performed a pre-employment polygraph, although it’s not identified what which may discover.

Geller stated there have been “no indicators of concern” throughout Edward’s tenure, and no inner or felony investigations had been opened in opposition to him.

Edwards’ police profession was quick. He entered the Virginia State Police Academy on July 6, 2021. After him graduated on January twenty first of this 12 months, he was assigned to Henrico County, inside the Richmond Division. He resigned from the Virginia State Police on October 28 and began as a patrol deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s workplace on November 16. He started orientation and was assigned to the patrol division.

Lower than two weeks later, he and three others had been useless.

Instances employees writers Erin B. Logan reported from Abingdon, Va., and Summer time Lin and Grace Toohey from Los Angeles.



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