The family of a missing Oregon woman, Kaylee Sawyer, received some bad news overnight when investigators reported that her disappearance is now being treated as a murder investigation.
Sawyer, 23, is 5-foot 2-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with blonde hair and blue-green eyes. She was last seen wearing a black dress and brown boots, and she was carrying a green purse. In a statement, the Destiny Project, a volunteer group who are leading the search for Sawyer, said;
“The family of Kaylee Sawyer who went missing over the weekend are heartbroken over the news overnight in this case. The Bend Police Department are now treating this case as a homicide. We will still be launching a volunteer-based search to find her and bring her home. This situation is developing quickly and may change at any time. The family is working with the Destiny Search Project which provides assistance in organizing missing person searches. The family asks that volunteers come prepared for the heat, walking, and possibility of being in fields and other terrain. Volunteers will need to bring valid identification. Check-in will begin at 7:30 am and volunteers can come throughout the day. You should expect to search for at least an hour and will be welcomed to go out on multiple searches. Destiny Search Project is also beginning plans for a public vigil in support of Kaylee and her family. Details of that event will be released later today. This is a rapidly changing situation and we appreciate your patience as we work in support of Kaylee’s family.”
KOIN News reports that Sawyer had her cell phone with her when she was last seen but it now appears to have been turned off. Late on the night of July 25, officials gave a press briefing in which they said, “The investigation into the disappearance of Kaylee led officers to multiple addresses in the Redmond Oregon area. Information gathered by investigators during the day (Monday) has changed the type of investigation from a missing person to a homicide investigation.”
Sawyer’s mother, Jane VanCleave, told KTVZ that her daughter is close with the rest of her family and it’s very unusual for them to not hear from her. VanCleave said, “She has four younger brothers that desperately want their sister home.” A Facebook group has been set up to aid the search for Sawyer.
The person of person of interest Edwin Lara. KOIN News reports that he’s an employee of Central Oregon Community College where he worked as a public safety officer. Lara is from Redmond, Oregon, stands at 5-feet-7 and weighs 180 pounds. Bend police spokesman Lt. Clint Burleigh told KTVZ, “We really need to find this guy. My gut tells me he’s out of the area.” Burleigh declined to be specific about what turned the investigation from a missing person case to a murder case. The lieutenant said, “Information gathered by investigators during the day has changed the type of investigation from a missing person to a homicide investigation.” h/t theheavy
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sawyer family for her safe return.