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Catfish Killer Austin Lee Edwards' Home Renovations Hint At Chilling Plans For Teen Girl...

Catfish Killer Austin Lee Edwards House Kidnap Plans

We’re sure no one thought too much about this odd home renovation at the time — but after everything that’s happened, learning about it is sending a chill down our spine…

For everyone who hasn’t heard, a Virginia cop named Austin Lee Edwards catfished a 15-year-old, posing as a teen himself. The 28-year-old eventually got the girl’s address in Riverside, California — and drove across the country to abduct her. Not only that, he killed her family! As he left with the teen, Edwards set fire to the house, leaving the dead bodies of the girl’s mother Brooke Winek and grandparents Mark and Sheri Winek for firefighters to find inside.

Thankfully the young girl was spotted just hours later. Officers from the Riverside Police Department got a call about a minor in distress and confronted Edwards. He opened fire on them, they shot back — killing him and freeing the girl.

But what was this guy’s plan if he didn’t get caught? Well, we have a pretty big hint at that now.

Related: Naked Woman Freed From Dog Cage Where She Was Being Kept As ‘Sex Slave’

According to real estate records obtained by TMZ, it seems Edwards had just purchased a house in Saltville, Virginia. The outlet reports he paid $80,000 for the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home on November 14. He had just changed jobs — he left the Virginia State Police in late October, scoring a new gig as a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, effective November 16. So the move in itself probably didn’t come across as strange. But his first renovation did…

TMZ reporters noticed the windows of the house were tinted, like the kind people get on expensive cars. They spoke to neighbors who said Edwards added the car tint almost immediately — it was the first thing he changed. He hardly had any furniture, but the tinting he took care of right away. The black windows made it basically impossible to see inside. Getting the picture?

He moves from the bigger city — a neighbor said he told them he just wanted to get out of Richmond — to a small town. He blacks out the windows so no one can see inside the home. And then just days later her enacts a plan to abduct a 15-year-old.

Despite how farfetched it obviously sounds, this man apparently believed he could kidnap this girl, bring her across state lines — all the way across the country, in fact — and keep her locked up in a home where no one would ever be able to see her again.

Not to mention the fact Virginia taxpayers would be footing the bill for this house of horrors as he continued to work as a sheriff’s deputy. Chilling.

[Image via Riverside PD/CBS Los Angeles/YouTube.]

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Dec 02, 2022 10:20am PDT