‘Human error’ blamed for hiring of cop in ‘catfishing’ triple homicide


Authorities in Virginia talked about “human error” was accountable for the hiring of the earlier state trooper, who’s accused of “catfishing” a 15-year-old woman after which killing three members of her family.

Virginia State Police talked about in an announcement Wednesday that an administrative consider has uncovered that an unspecified “human error resulted in an incomplete database query” all through Austin Lee Edwards’ hiring course of.

“Although we believe this to be an isolated incident, steps are currently underway to ensure the error is not repeated going forward,” the corporate mentioned. “The department is also proactively auditing existing personnel records and practices.”

State police spoke out in regards to the case after the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday {{that a}} police report indicated that Edwards had been detained in 2016 for a psychiatric evaluation over threats to kill his father and himself, years sooner than he pursued a career in regulation enforcement.

Authorities in Virginia blamed a "human error" for the hiring of former state trooper and sheriff's deputy Austin Lee Edwards, 28, who allegedly killed three people last month.
Authorities in Virginia blamed a “human error” for the hiring of former state trooper and sheriff’s deputy Austin Lee Edwards, 28, who allegedly killed three people remaining month.

The reporting raised questions on how Edwards was employed by the Virginia State Police and later by a Virginia sheriff’s office with out triggering any purple flags.

Both regulation enforcement corporations have talked about they found no warning indicators about Edwards, and no earlier employers disclosed factors all through background checks.

He entered the Virginia State Police academy in Jan. 2021 and resigned from the stress 15 months in some time Oct. 28, 2022.

Mark Winek (right), 69, and his wife, Sharie Winek, 65.
Mark Winek (correct), 69, and his partner, Sharie Winek, 65.
Brooke Winek, 38.
Brooke Winek, 38.

Edwards had been employed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office merely 11 days sooner than his alleged homicide rampage.

Authorities in California have talked about Edwards posed on-line as a 17-year-old boy whereas chatting with the 15-year-old sufferer. He requested {the teenager} to ship nude footage of herself, at which period she stopped talking with him.

He drove all through the nation and on Nov. 25 killed the girl’s mom, Brooke Winek, 38, and grandparents, Mark Winek, 69, and Sharie Winek, 65, sooner than setting the family’s Riverside residence on fireside and driving off with {the teenager}.

Edwards died by suicide all through a shootout with San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies the equivalent day. The woman was rescued and introduced into defending custody, the place she has been receiving counseling for trauma, her kin talked about.

A report written by police in Abingdon, Virginia, described a psychological nicely being episode in Feb. 2016, when Edwards was 21.

Edwards watched the Super Bowl collectively along with his father on Feb. 7, the report talked about. Later that evening time, his father awoke to the sound of his son making noise inside the toilet. The father used a screwdriver to open the door and observed his son with a self-inflicted harm to his hand.

A memorial is seen outside the Riverside, California, home of the Winek family.
A memorial is seen exterior the Riverside, California, residence of the Winek family.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

When emergency medical technicians arrived, they discovered Edwards being held down by his dad. When police arrived, they found a “large presence of blood” inside the home.

“Austin made several statements in the presence of Officers that he wanted to die, that he would try to kill himself the instant he was free from restraints, and that he would kill his father,” police wrote inside the report.

Edwards was taken to a neighborhood hospital. His father suggested authorities he didn’t know why his son had harmed himself nonetheless talked about he’s maybe troubled a pair of relationship collectively along with his girlfriend. Knives and a small hatchet had been present inside the residence.

Because of Edwards’ suicidal and homicidal statements, an emergency custody order was issued, which allowed medical professionals to judge whether or not or not he met the requirements for a short detention order.

Edwards had been hired by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office just 11 days before the murder rampage.
Edwards had been employed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office merely 11 days sooner than the homicide rampage.
Virginia State Police

In response to a motion filed by the Los Angeles Times, a Washington County select launched Edwards’ non everlasting detention order, which talked about there was a “substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness,” Edwards would critically harm himself or endure harm inside the near future.

He was taken that day to Ridgeview Pavilion, a psychiatric hospital in Bristol, Virginia, in accordance with the order.

After particulars from the Abingdon police report turned public, Virginia State Police mentioned that Edwards in no way disclosed any incidents via the hiring course of or all through his time on the stress which will have disqualified him from serving as a trooper.

With Post wires

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