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HomeNewsEx-trooper bought home, blacked out windows, weeks before allegedly killing family of...

Ex-trooper bought home, blacked out windows, weeks before allegedly killing family of teen he catfished, seller says

Weeks earlier than a former Virginia state trooper allegedly killed three members of a California household in a “catfishing” scheme, he purchased a house sight unseen and blacked out the home windows, the person who offered him the home stated Friday.

Jacob Gordon, 28, stated in an interview that Austin Lee Edwards, who was killed in a shootout with authorities on Nov. 25, made a full-price supply on the two-bedroom home in Saltville, in southwestern Virginia, hours after it was listed within the first week of October.

Edwards, 28, requested nearly no questions in regards to the dwelling and moved in on Nov. 14, Gordon stated. Property data from Smyth County, Virginia, record Austin Lee Edwards because the proprietor of the house on Allison Hole Highway. He paid $79,900, in line with the data.

“It nonetheless doesn’t really feel actual,” Gordon informed NBC affiliate WCYB of Bristol, Virginia. “It’s one thing you by no means dream of.”

The house purchased by Austin Lee Edwards, in Saltville, Va.Courtesy Jacob Gordon

TMZ first reported the sale.

Authorities imagine Edwards posed as a 17-year-old whereas interacting with a teenage lady in Riverside, California. Edwards traveled there and is accused of killing the 15-year-old’s mom, Brooke Winek, 38; and grandparents, Mark Winek, 69, and Sharie Winek, 65, authorities in Riverside have stated.

A fireplace that authorities imagine was deliberately set broke out at their dwelling and Edwards allegedly drove off with the teenager. Sheriff’s deputies in San Bernardino County discovered them hours later and fatally shot Edwards after he opened hearth, the Riverside Police Division has stated.

The lady is within the custody of Baby Protecting Companies and is receiving trauma counseling, a household buddy stated at a information convention Wednesday.

Family photographs part of a memorial in the driveway at the home where three family members were murdered, on Nov. 29, 2022 in Riverside, Calif.
Household images a part of a memorial within the driveway on the dwelling the place three members of the family have been murdered, on Nov. 29, 2022 in Riverside, Calif.Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions by way of Getty Pictures

Edwards resigned from the Virginia State Police in October, roughly 10 months after graduating from the academy. The division has declined to say why, citing a state legislation barring them from releasing further particulars.

The company denied a public data request from NBC Information searching for personnel data.

Edwards had just lately begun orientation and was within the strategy of being reassigned to the patrol division on the Washington County Sheriff’s Workplace when he moved into the Saltville dwelling.

The sheriff’s workplace has beforehand stated {that a} background verify revealed Edwards had not been topic to reprimands, inside investigations or different points.

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After transferring in to the house, Edwards hung blackout curtains and tinted the home windows with what Gordon believed might have been a product made for vehicles, he stated. It is not clear why he did so. Gordon didn’t focus on it with Edwards and stated he did not assume a lot about it on the time.

“I really informed him, ‘I am glad we received a cop again right here,'” Gordon stated. “My spouse and child are dwelling alone lots.”

“After I look again there’s 100 issues I may query,” he added.

Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Division, stated Friday that detectives haven’t but analyzed objects found on the dwelling.

Gordon described Edwards as shy and stated he principally saved to himself, although he supplied to assist Gordon make things better round his close by property. As a result of Edwards was new to the world, Gordon stated, he as soon as supplied to go to dinner with Edwards at a Chinese language restaurant.

“He politely declined,” Gordon stated.

Gordon stated Edwards informed him that he moved to the world as a result of he’d grown up within the area and needed to return. The Riverside Police Division beforehand stated Edwards was from North Chesterfield, a number of hours northeast of Saltville, close to Richmond.

Efforts to succeed in Edwards’ kinfolk have been unsuccessful.

Gordon described Saltville as rural Appalachia, a spot the place bank cards cannot be used on fuel pumps and quick meals franchises are all however non-existent.

“While you come right here you are touring again up to now,” he stated.

Authorities haven’t stated when Edwards arrived in California or how he received there. The final time Gordon stated he noticed Edwards was Tuesday, Nov. 22, three days earlier than the Wineks have been killed.

“He’d come dwelling from work early that day,” he stated. “He packed his issues in his automotive and left.”

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