Brooke Winek dead and obituary, The deaths of three people found Friday

Three people were found dead Friday at a burning house in Riverside in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl.

As police were heading to the 11200 block of Price Court to investigate a man and woman who were having “some sort of disturbance” outside their home, dispatchers received a call from a motorist reporting smoke coming from a house in the same building, the Riverside Police Department Spokesman Sergeant Ryan Railsback said.

When firefighters found the bodies of a man and two women inside, they responded and put out the blaze, Railsback said. The victims were identified as Mark Winek, 69; his wife Sharie Winek, 65; and their daughter Brooke Winek, 38.

Investigators have identified the woman involved in the outdoor disturbance as a teen living at the house, Railsback said. The man she was dating, Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Va., had been identified as the prime suspect in the three deaths, he said. Edwards was traced Friday night to San Bernardino County, where he was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy after he opened fire on police officers near Needles, law enforcement officials said.

Railsback said Riverside police investigators determined that Edwards met the young girl online and misrepresented his identity.

“Detectives determined that Edwards met the teenage girl through a common form of online deception known as ‘catfishing,’ in which someone pretends to be different than they actually are,” authorities said in a news release. “It is believed Edwards He developed an online relationship with the teen and obtained her personal information. He traveled from Virginia to Riverside, parked in a neighbor’s driveway, and entered the teen’s home.”

The exact cause and nature of the three deaths are being investigated, officials said, but police believe Edwards killed the teen’s grandfather, grandmother and mother before taking the teen to his car and driving away.

Edwards was previously employed by the Virginia State Police and most recently worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, Railsback said.

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