BEND, Ore. — On Friday, Dec. 11, Dateline will rebroadcast an interview with Kaylee Sawyer’s mom Juli Van Cleave at 9 p.m. on KGW-TV. New information will be interspersed with a previously run episode. This will be the first time Van Cleave has spoken publicly since Kaylee Sawyer’s family members settled with Central Oregon Community College for $2 million following her brutal murder on the campus.
In the early morning hours of July 24, 2016, 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer went missing in Bend, Oregon after attending a bachelorette party.
Her boyfriend, Cameron Reimhofer, picked her up from the bar and drove them back to the apartment they shared near the campus of Central Oregon Community College (COCC). In the parking lot, she and Cameron got into a fight and Sawyer took off into the night. Reimhofer returned upstairs knowing Sawyer had a habit of walking off her anger.
He didn’t know that he would be the last person to see her alive – except for her killer, Edwin Lara.
Sawyer was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Lara who was a COCC security officer. It is unclear whether Sawyer got into the vehicle willingly or if she was forced in. However, Lara drove Sawyer up to lot B12 and choked her and bludgeoned her to death with a rock. Lara would then go on to kidnap another woman, shoot a man and carjack an unsuspecting family while leading police on a multi-state chase.
He was arrested in California and he has been sentenced to life in prison in January 2018.
Sawyer’s family has fought on her behalf since her death. Sawyer’s father and stepmother pushed for Kaylee’s Law, which protects students and citizens by clearly identifying and defining the role of campus safety officers. Her mother created a children’s book club called KK’s Readers on her behalf as well.
Kafoury and McDougal assert that COCC failed to protect its students. The attorneys for Sawyer’s family uncovered evidence of “serious red flags from Edwin Lara” that they said COCC should have acted upon.
“Members of COCC’s Campus Public Safety department knew of Lara’s fascination with dead bodies, that he showed to numerous people at work nude photographs and pornographic videos he filmed of himself and a woman he was having an affair with, his mannerisms so alarming that one female cadet refused to ride in the same car as him, and his lying about once being a police officer in Honduras where he saw bodies ‘all chopped up.’ COCC had the opportunity to discover that Lara once plotted a murder and struggled with an urge to kill most of his life. This tragedy will forever resonate in the heart of our community,” said Tim Williams, attorney for the Sawyer family.
Sawyer’s father, Jamie Sawyer, spoke with KGW after the settlement and said that no amount of money would bring peace because it would not bring Kaylee back.
Watch the Dateline episode with Keith Morrison at 9 p.m. PST on NBC.
If you are looking for more information on the case, KGW anchor Ashley Korslien, digital reporter Destiny Johnson, executive producer Mila Mimica and editor/audio engineer Zach Carver created an award-winning eight-episode podcast titled Urge To Kill about the Kaylee Sawyer case.
It is a comprehensive look at the crime and litigation that followed with never before heard interviews with victims and people involved in the case, 911 calls, video and more.
Edwin Lara not only murdered Kaylee Sawyer but kidnapped another young woman, shot a man and led police on a multi-state chase. You can find that podcast where ever you get your podcasts or at www.kgw.com/urgetokill. There is also bonus content including security camera footage, raw interviews and more on the YouTube playlist.