This is one of the most bizarre crime stories of 2022 and that's saying something
· · Nov 29, 2022 ·

This is unsettling, horrifying and inexplicable all at the same time:

Roughly 10 days after a former Virginia state trooper was hired by a sheriff's office in that state, he traveled to Southern California and allegedly killed the family of a teenager he had catfished online, officials said.

Austin Lee Edwards, 28, died in a shootout with authorities Friday, hours after he allegedly killed the teen's mother and grandparents at a home in Riverside, California, the city's police department said in a news release.

You read that right: The dude had been employed by multiple law enforcement agencies prior to his brutal crimes:

Edwards was hired by the Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office on November 16, the office said in a news release. He had recently begun orientation to be assigned to the patrol division. ...

Before being hired in Washington County, Edwards had resigned as a trooper with the Virginia State Police on October 28, the agency told CNN in an email.

Edwards, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, entered the academy in July 2021 and graduated January 2022, after which he was assigned to Henrico County within Richmond's division, state police said.

And yes, since you're doubtlessly wondering, there were apparently no red flags associated with this guy:

There were no signs of concern when Edwards was hired in Washington County, the sheriff's office said.

"Past employers and the Virginia State Police were contacted during the hiring processing; however, no employers disclosed any troubles, reprimands, or internal investigations pertaining to Edwards," the office said in its statement.

How exactly does this sort of thing happen? How does a would-be murderer and pervert manage to work for two separate police outfits without tripping any emergency alerts? How exactly does a man harbor such violence and depravity without anyone noticing or doing anything?

Hopefully the investigation will clear that up, because this does not really make any sense.


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