Crime scenes in Lawrence may all be linked together by a hatchet

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A Lawrence man woke up early Sunday morning to a man standing in his bedroom doorway with a hatchet. That's the story FOX 4 originally went to Lawrence to cover on Monday.

Turns out, the case just kept getting stranger. The University of Kansas Law School student was not the guy to mess with.

"Oh yeah, I'm a Marine," he said.

But Sunday morning he woke up to a frightening surprise, a man with a flashlight and a hatchet.

"Rubber handle and a steel blade," he described.

The two exchanged words and the guy ran off. As we drove through the neighborhood where it happened, we found Hilary Edwards. Late Sunday afternoon, Hilary saw a hatchet resting against the tree in her yard.

"Just happened to see the axe by the tree, I had no idea what it was or what it's for. I called my husband, I said, 'Is that your axe?'" Edwards explained.

It wasn't.

"We thought it was our neighbor's," Edwards said.

The two figured they'd put it in the garage for now. Then we showed up and explained what happened to their neighbor.

FOX 4's Abby Eden called police to let them know the Edwards found a hatchet in their yard. Police showed up, took a look at the hatchet and listened to how it was found, then bagged it as evidence. We showed a picture of the hatchet to the man who saw it in his home. He said it was the same one.

The story took another turn.

FOX 4 went to another home a couple blocks away. Police and firefighters were called here an hour before the aforementioned intrusion to a shed fire. The only thing missing from the shed was a hatchet.

The owner believes someone trashed her boat, leaving behind smears of blood before setting her shed on fire. She also said the hatchet that was found was her hatchet.

This victim told us our story is about to take another twist.

She said an hour or so before her shed caught fire, a few blocks away, another house was damaged by someone who took a golf club to the interior, and several windows.
Finding out it could all be connected to the hatchet has Edwards wondering what could have happened next.

"It hits way too close to home," she said.

The man in the hatchet incident is described as a college-aged white man with dark hair- average height and build. Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspect should call CrimeStopppers at (785) 843-TIPS.

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